Making sense of mixed-embeddedness in migrant informal enterprising

Bisignano, A.P. ORCID: 0000-0001-7446-0657 and El-Anis, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-6918-4544, 2018. Making sense of mixed-embeddedness in migrant informal enterprising. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research. ISSN 1355-2554

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Purpose: This paper discusses how informal migrant entrepreneurs with different legal statuses interpret their mixed-embeddedness in social and economic contexts. Legal status represents a key determinant in shaping accessible social networks and market opportunities that in turn influence entrepreneurial choices.

Methodology and Research Design: The paper adopts an interpretative stance to explore how migrant entrepreneurs interpret mixed-embeddedness. It draws on the empirical evidence from a cross-sectional sample of 26 asylum seekers that engaged with enterprising activities in the city of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. A recursive hermeneutic process guided the iterative readings of the accounts to develop theoretical insights on how these agents reinvent their relationship with structure.

Findings: A novel theoretical framework emerges from the data analysis to present how these particular migrants use understandings of community and notions of capital to make sense of their mixed-embeddedness. The main theoretical contribution of the framework is to illustrate how groups with different legal statuses produce unique interpretations of mixed-embeddedness. This, in turn, reflects onto specific forms of enterprising and innovative entrepreneurial choices. The framework also produces an empirical contribution as it re-centres the analysis of mixed-embeddedness around the migrant entrepreneur from previous meso- and macro-level perspectives that dominated recent research.

Implications for research and practice: The paper expands knowledge on the notion of mixed-embeddedness by providing insights on how informal migrant entrepreneurs make sense of it. This can form the basis for allowing scholars to address empirically how migrant entrepreneurs reconcile their embeddedness in both social and economic contexts. In terms of practical implications, the paper paves the way for policy-makers to re-evaluate the current approach to the right of asylum seekers to pursue entrepreneurial activities.

Originality/value: The notion of mixed-embeddedness is central to research on informal migrant enterprising. Nevertheless, the concept remains fuzzy and difficult to operationalise. The paper offers an opportunity to understand how migrant entrepreneurs make sense of mixed-embeddedness so that future scholars can better explore how mixed-embeddedness reconciles agency and structure.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
Creators: Bisignano, A.P. and El-Anis, I.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 10 December 2018
ISSN: 1355-2554
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 18 Dec 2018 11:58
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2018 11:58

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