Refugee Constrained Entrepreneurship – The Emergence of a Liquid Cage

Deema Refai, Gerard McElwee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This conceptual paper explores the adaptability of Max Weber’s works on rationality and the Iron Cage of rationality (ICR) in the context of refugee entrepreneurship. We consider restricted entrepreneurship under superimposed conditions. We connect to literature from the fields of entrepreneurship and organisational studies to understand refugees’ engagement in entrepreneurship. The paper offers a conceptualisation of a more liquid cage whereby refugees focus on their skills and expertise, whilst also considering contextual opportunities in order to engage in entrepreneurship outside the restrictive institutions. The paper’s contribution is highlighted through developing better understanding of restricted entrepreneurship in refugees’ under-investigated context, whilst focusing on how Weber’s ICR can be adapted to understand refugee entrepreneurship as a more contextualised phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Council for Small Business (ICSB)
Subtitle of host publication2019 Congress Proceedings
PublisherInternational Council for Small Business
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781732498051
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2019
EventThe 64th ICSB World Congress, Egypt: The Future of Entrepreneurship: What's Next? - Cairo, Egypt
Duration: 16 Jun 201921 Jun 2019
Conference number: 64


ConferenceThe 64th ICSB World Congress, Egypt
Abbreviated titleICSB 2019
Internet address


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