Migrant entrepreneurship and markets: The dynamic role of embeddedness in networks in the creation of opportunities

Paul Lassalle, Martin Johanson, John Nicholson, Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to develop insight into the linked processes of migration and entrepreneurship. By combining the literatures on network dynamics and on effectuation, we link the processes of embedding in networks (proximation) and de-embedding from networks (distanciation) to opportunity creation. We use the principles from effectuation theory of ‘bird in hand’ (using available resources) and ‘crazy quilt’ (selected use of networks) to develop a framework of migrant entrepreneurship. We use data from 28 in-depth interviews with Polish migrant entrepreneurs in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Following an abductive process of data analysis, we combine the themes emerging from the data with those in the existing literatures to propose our framework. Our findings show that migrant entrepreneurs’ embeddedness is dynamic and evolves across three types of networks: the origin country networks, the host country migrant networks and the host country indigenous networks. We found that migrant entrepreneurs become relationally, socially, and structurally embedded, often relying on bridging agents to access indigenous networks. Migrant entrepreneurs then leverage resources to create opportunities in the host country’s markets. Based on these findings, our framework considers the role played by multi-dimensional and evolving embeddedness in different networks in the process of opportunity creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-536
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date20 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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