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From breaking-ice to breaking-out: integration as an opportunity creation process

Journal article
Authors Quang Evansluong
Marcela Ramirez Pasillas
Huong Nguyen Bergström
Published in International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
ISSN 1355-2554
Publication year 2019
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-02-20...
Keywords Immigrants, Entrepreneurial opportunity, Integration process, Opportunity creation process, Acculturation theory, Sweden, Breaking-in, Breaking-out, Breaking-ice
Subject categories International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Business Administration

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to conduct an inductive case study to understand how the opportunity creation process leads to integration. Design/methodology/approach – It examines four cases of immigrant entrepreneurs of Cameroonian, Lebanese, Mexican and Assyrian origins who founded their businesses in Sweden. The study relies on process-oriented theory building and develops an inductive model of integration as an opportunity creation process. Findings – The suggested model shows immigrants’ acculturation into the host society via three successive phases: breaking-ice, breaking-in and breaking-out. In the breaking-ice phase, immigrants trigger entrepreneurial ideas to overcome the disadvantages that they face as immigrants in the host country. In the breaking-in phase, immigrants articulate their entrepreneurial ideas by bonding with the ethnic community. In the breaking-out phase, the immigrants reorient their entrepreneurial ideas by desegregating them locally.The paper concludes by elaborating theoretical and practical implications of the research. Originality/value – Immigrants act when they are socially excluded and discriminated in the labor market by developing business ideas and becoming entrepreneurs. By practicing the new language and accommodating native customers’ preferences, immigrants reorient their entrepreneurial ideas. The immigrants tailor their ideas to suit their new customers by strengthening their sense of belonging to the local community.

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