Understanding the emergence of a social enterprise by highly skilled migrants

Cruz, Allan Discua; Fromm, Ingrid (2019). Understanding the emergence of a social enterprise by highly skilled migrants International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 25(5), pp. 801-818. Emerald 10.1108/IJEBR-02-2018-0091

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the emergence of a social enterprise by highly skilled members of a diaspora. While most literature has focused on government intervention for diaspora engagement and monetary remittance flows from migrants, less attention has been paid to the transfer of social remittances and social enterprises created by diasporas. Based on the concept of social remittances, social network theory and motivation perspectives, this study unpacks the emergence of a social enterprise by highly skilled migrants of a developing country. Design/methodology/approach: This study examines social enterprise emergence through an autoethnographic approach to describe and systematically analyze personal experience. This approach allows to understand cultural experience around the emergence of a social enterprise created by diverse members of a diaspora. Findings: Findings reveal that diaspora knowledge networks (DKNs) can emerge through the activation of a highly skilled diaspora network structure. Core diaspora members can activate a latent network of highly skilled migrants that wish to fulfill intrinsic motivations. Findings support the extend current understandings of social remittances by highly skilled migrants, who emerge as a transnational community that desires to stay connected to their country-of-origin and can support the emergence of a transnational network structure for development. The findings reveal that place attachment, sense of duty and well-being are key factors for highly skilled migrants to engage in DKNs. Originality/value: The paper contributes to literature on networks and migrant-based organizational emergence by examining how and why highly skilled migrants from a developing country engage in the emergence of a DKN. Findings challenge previous views of government intervention and provides evidence on how the transmission of collective social remittances can flow trans-nationally, making highly skilled migrants effective agents of knowledge circulation and DKNs a vehicle for transmission. More specifically, the study provides evidence of the relevance of transnational features in the context of diaspora networks that lead to organizational emergence. It underscores the influence of interrelated motivations in diaspora engagement studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture


Cruz, Allan Discua and
Fromm, Ingrid


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)








David Zimmer

Date Deposited:

11 Sep 2019 13:33

Last Modified:

22 Sep 2020 07:22

Publisher DOI:


Additional Information:

Subtitle: The case of Honduras Global Europa

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Immigrants, Developing countries, Networks, Social enterprise





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