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Migrant Entrepreneurship Beyond Place and Space: A Call to Explore the Roles of Family Across Borders and Contexts


Special issue call for papers from Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

The submission portal for this special issue will open December 1, 2019.

Purpose
Migration is an important global phenomenon fostering entrepreneurship. Migrants are individuals who are moving or have moved across an international border, or nationally across different regions or provinces, away from their habitual place of residence (UN Migration Agency, 2019). These individuals are considered migrants regardless of what their legal status is, whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary, what the causes for the movement are, or what the length of the stay is (UN Migration Agency, 2019). Migrants also move back to their countries of origin, constituting return migration, and often contribute to the development of local economies in multiple ways (e.g., Riddle & Brinkerhoff, 2011; Dahles, 2013; Bai et al. 2016). Migrants form ethnic communities and engage in businesses which are influenced by place and space (Light et al., 1994; Dana 2007; Galbraith et al., 2007; Urbano et al., 2011; Elo & Vemuri, 2016; Munkejord, 2017; Ramadani et al., 2019). When migrants cross national and international geographical borders, they connect markets within and/or beyond one country, leading to valuable economic development (Evansluong, 2016; Ram et al., 2017; Ojo, 2017; Elo et al., 2019a; Jones et al., 2019).

As migrants move around the world, they establish and maintain contacts with their family members in different countries. Family is recognized as a resource and an institution for entrepreneurship, which provides a basis for trust, collective actions, and a sense of community (Jack & Anderson, 2002; Aldrich & Cliff, 2003). Yet, because of migration, the meaning and roles of family span borders and contexts. Migrant entrepreneurs sustain and create family configurations and ties with other individuals in the place of origin and the place of residence (Evansluong & Ramirez-Pasillas, 2019), which we term ‘family across borders’. The literature on migrant entrepreneurship acknowledges that cross-borders activities among migrants occur to varying degrees. Some migrants maintain strong connections with their country of origin at the same time they become part of their country of residence. By contrast, other migrants reduce interaction or terminate connections to their home country in search of a better life in the country of residence (Waldinger, 2013; Park & Waldinger, 2017). Migrants can create a family with a person from the same country of origin, from the country of residence, or from a different nationality. They can choose to remain single but still keep close interactions with extended families. Such family configurations and ties might exercise an influence on entrepreneurial activities and processes, but this potential is still left unexplored (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003).

Furthermore, spouses, siblings or family teams engage in entrepreneurship (i.e., Discua Cruz, Howorth & Hamilton, 2013; Randerson et al., 2015; Parada & Dawson, 2017). Because of contextualization (Welter, 2011), the consideration of historical, geographical, institutional, spatial, and social contexts provides entrepreneurs and their families with opportunities for venture development, inasmuch as these contexts demarcate their actions (Ramirez-Pasillas et al., 2017). In the venture development process, a migrant’s family in the country of residence and/or origin often provides financial support (Ram et al., 2008) and voluntary or low-cost labor (Ram et al., 2008; Sanders & Nee, 1996). The family across borders also influences and/or is influenced by migrants’ opportunity development (Bagwell, 2008; Chen et al., 2019; Evansluong & Ramirez Pasillas, 2019; Shneikat & Alrawadieh, 2019), social capital (Portes & Sensenbrenner, 1993; Galbraith, 2007; Ram et al., 2008; Bizri, 2017; Vershinina et al., 2011), symbolic capital (Rodgers et al., 2019), cultural capital (Yeröz, 2019), the migrants’ exit from entrepreneurship (Bird & Wennberg, 2016), religious belongingness (Dana, 2010; Elo & Volovelsky, 2016), acculturation (Mitra & Evansluong, 2019), support for a more diverse local labor force (Jones et al., 2019), and integration into society in the country of residence (Evansluong et al., 2019). Thus, understanding the family’s influence on migrant entrepreneurship across borders and contexts can help broaden our knowledge on how this influence fosters the path of the migrant entrepreneur’s venture creation alongside the entrepreneur’s integration into the country of residence.

Because migrant entrepreneurs’ lives are embedded within and beyond one country (Nee & Sanders, 2001; Kloosterman, 2010; Jones et al., 2014; Bagwell, 2015), they create and/or employ different social contexts that constitute various family configurations and ties that have the capacity to influence their venture development (Evansluong and Ramirez-Pasillas, 2019). For instance, by connecting the new venture in the country of residence to the family business in the country of origin, migrant entrepreneurs expand the business context of the family (cf., Evansluong, 2016; Spiellman et al., 2019; Vershinina et al., 2019). Entrepreneurs also maintain family ties and support migrant communities by establishing social enterprises (Discua Cruz & Fromm, 2018). Thus, entrepreneurs shape (and are shaped by) their historical, social, institutional, organizational, online, and geographical contexts to create their ventures (cf., Johannisson et al., 2002; Light et al., 2013; Elo et al., 2019b; Vershinina et al., 2019). Hence, entrepreneurs employ varied forms of proximity to build their ventures across borders (e.g., Torre & Rallet, 2005; Ramirez Pasillas, 2010). For instance, entrepreneurs rely on their relational, organizational, and geographical proximity to link their ventures and their closely located firm partners to distant partners by means of international trade fairs (cf., Ramirez Pasillas, 2008).

Furthermore, the use of varied contexts across borders gives birth to a diverse set of practices and processes for migrant entrepreneurship. It is important to understand the increasing complexities of migration and entrepreneurship at multiple levels (Honig, 2018). However, the extant literature is limited in explaining how migrants engage in  entrepreneurship across borders and contexts (Thai & Turkina, 2013; Evansluong, 2017; Elo & Servais, 2018). The questions of why, how, and under which conditions they do so remain unanswered. The insights into how migrant entrepreneurs leverage resources across countries to support their businesses (Bagwell, 2018) and combine face-to-face and online contexts to advance these businesses (Chen & Wellman, 2009) might be helpful in understanding this phenomenon. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge about what and how practices and processes are created and sustained, and how, in interaction with family members and other relevant stakeholders in the places of origin and residence. There is a further dearth in our understanding of whether these practices are gendered (Vershinina et al., 2019; Yeröz, 2019). In addition, little is known about how the family across borders influences the everyday community life and the relevance of this for migrant entrepreneurship (Evansluong et al., 2019). Research on migrant entrepreneurship prominently discusses how family influences migrants’ businesses. However, the reverse—the influence of migrant entrepreneurship on family—remains underexplored. As migrant entrepreneurs rely on contacts and resources provided across borders through family ties (Mustafa & Chen, 2010), it is important to examine whether and how their families benefit from these interactions.

Therefore, the interplay between family and migrant entrepreneurship is in need of scholarly attention. Questions to explore include how family may support, hinder, and/or benefit from migrants’ entrepreneurship and vice versa; how migrant entrepreneurs rely on family broadly and  mobilise resources from within the family for entrepreneurship beyond a single place; and what the conceptual underpinings are for family influences across contexts and borders.

The Themes
We welcome both empirical and theoretical contributions that broaden our understanding of (a) how the roles of family span borders and contexts in supporting/hindering migrant entrepreneurship (b) how place and space are intertwined within this process, and  (c) how geographical contexts (i.e., regions within and/beyond a country) influence this process. Specifically, for this Special Issue, we seek contributions from the disciplines of business administration, anthropology, history, information technology, sociology, and sustainability that bring forth new conceptual and empirical understandings of family across borders and migrant entrepreneurship. Among others, we welcome manuscripts that respond to the following research questions:

  • How do migrant entrepreneurs and their families engage in creating contexts of the place of origin and/or residence in order to promote migrant entrepreneurship?
  • How do the varied contexts of place and space shape the entrepreneurial outcomes for migrant entrepreneurs and their families?
  • How does the migrant entrepreneur rely on the family in the place of origin and/or residence to create business and institutional contexts based on family values and traditions in the place of origin and/or residence?
  • How do migrant entrepreneurs and their families rely on varied geographical contexts to support migrant entrepreneurship (i.e. regions in developed countries, emerging economies and developing countries)?
  • How does family in the place of origin and/or residence influence migrant entrepreneurs’ practices, processes, and choice of ventures?
  • How do family history, configurations, and business activities influence migrant entrepreneurship?
  • How does the migrant entrepreneur rely on the family in the place of origin and/or residence to include and support other migrants?
  • How is the migrant entrepreneur connected to and supported by the family business in the place of origin and/or residence?
  • How does gendering embedded within the familial relations and structures impact on the migrant entrepreurship?
  • How does the migrant entrepreneur’s venture support the family and its family business in the place of origin and/or residence?
  • How does migrant entrepreneurship influence migrant’s families in the place of origin and/or residence?
  • How do migrant entrepreneurs and their families use varied forms of proximity in the place of origin and/or residence to support migrant entrepreneurship?
  • How can policy consider the influences and roles of family across contexts and borders in promoting and supporting migrant entrepreneurship?


We welcome conceptual and/or empirical submissions that employ a range of methodologies and levels of analysis, from the perspectives of individual, group, and society, to explore migrant entrepreneurship and the intersection of family across borders and contexts, The aim of this call is therefore to offer insight into the role of space and place by better understanding family configurations, migrant entrepreneurship activity, and the nature of such processes across borders and contexts.  This call for papers aims to advance our understanding of the relevance of these issues and the capacity to shape future research agendas.  
 
Guidelines for authors
Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy (JEC) is published by Emerald. All papers submitted to the JEC will undergo a double-blind peer review process. The manuscripts should be structured in line with the guidelines, available at http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=jec. They need to be submitted online through the ScholarOne system: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jec. Please select the “Migrant entrepreneurship beyond place and space: a call to explore the roles of family across borders and contexts” special issue from the drop-down menu for your submission. For any inquiry on this issue, contact the guest editors. Please note that the submission portal will be opened December 1, 2019.

Manuscript submission deadline:
February 27, 2020.

Guest editors
Quang Evansluong ([email protected]), Sten K. Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship, Lund University School of Economics and Management; Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Economics, Business and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Marcela Ramirez Pasillas ([email protected]), Centre of Family Enterprise and Ownership, Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden 

Allan Discua Cruz ([email protected]), Entrepreneurship and Strategy Department, Management School, Lancaster University, United Kingdom

Maria Elo ([email protected]), Department of Marketing and Management, University of Southern Denmark

Natalia Vershinina ([email protected]), Department of Business and Society, Audencia Business School, Nantes, France

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