From mixed embeddedness to transnational mixed embeddedness

Bagwell, Sue (2018) From mixed embeddedness to transnational mixed embeddedness. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 24 (1). pp. 104-120. ISSN 1355-2554


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relevance of the mixed embeddedness thesis (Kloosterman, 2010; Rath and Kloosterman, 2002) to businesses with a more transnational mode of operation.

Interviews with the owner managers of a sample 24 Vietnamese businesses in London were undertaken to develop an understanding of how micro (individual resources: social, financial and cultural/human capital, and history of migration), meso (local, regional and national markets) and macro (politico-institutional) factors in the UK and overseas influenced business development.

The findings illustrate how business development is influenced not just by the interaction of the local (UK) opportunity structure and the entrepreneur’s resources, as suggested by the mixed embeddedness thesis, but also by institutional regimes, economies and markets in key countries of the diaspora, and the interaction of these. The extent to which new transnational opportunities can be exploited, however, depends on access to the necessary local and transnational forms of capital.

Practical implications
The empirical evidence presented is used to present a re-working of the mixed embeddedness thesis to provide a framework for understanding the drivers of transnational entrepreneurship.

The paper presents new empirical knowledge of transnational activity amongst the UK Vietnamese business community – a little known refugee community. Conceptually, the paper offers a theoretical development of the mixed embeddedness thesis to enable it to provide an explanation of transnational entrepreneurship amongst new migrant communities.

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