Call for papers: IJEBR Special Issue Migration, Entreprise and Society

Guest Editors:
Dr. Natalia Vershinina, University of Birmingham
Dr. Peter Rodgers, University of Sheffield

This Special Issue Call for Papers seeks to contribute to a growing strand of academic literature, which recognises the social and cultural contexts in which entrepreneurial endeavours take place (Bruton et al. 2010; Jennings et al. 2013; Welter and Smallbone 2006). Within this ‘social turn’ in the study of entrepreneurship (Johannisson, 1988; Ansari et al. 2012; McKeever et al, 2014) there is a recognition of the ‘everyday’ nature of many manifestations of entrepreneurial practices and the fact that the entrepreneurs themselves and the entrepreneurial processes and practices are not taking place in political, cultural or societal vacuums. Rather than simply accepting the traditional view of entrepreneurial activities involving the ‘super-hero’ stereotype of the entrepreneur (Burns, 2001), a growing strand of critical entrepreneurship (Anderson et al, 2010; De Clercq and Voronov, 2009) calls for the recognition of the everyday (Johannisson 2011) and mundane nature (Rehn and Taalas, 2004) of varied forms of entrepreneurship. In order to critically examine the dominant discourses of entrepreneurship, Steyaert (2005) argues for the need to explore diverse and alternative entrepreneurial individuals, processes and practices beyond the mainstream. Embracing the desire within the ‘European tradition’ of entrepreneurship (Gartner 2008; Down 2013; Davidsson 2013; McKeever, 2014) to look beyond the ‘mainstream’ has led to calls for more academic interest in the ‘other’ (Gartner, 2013) entrepreneurial individuals and practices living and taking place on the edges and margins of our societies (Watson 2013; Imas et al., 2012).
To this end, taking the UK as a contextual example, over the past decade, increasing numbers of ‘new’ migrants have arrived in the UK (Jones et al. 2014). This is explained by a rise in refugees and asylum seekers from war-torn countries (Edwards et al. 2016) and migration from the new EU member-states (Vershinina,, 2011; Ciupijus, 2011; Drinkwater et al. 2009; Khattab and Fox. 2016; Barrett and Vershinina, 2016). Despite the growth of ‘new’ migrant communities in the UK, within an ‘age of super-diversity’ (Vertovec, 2007, Ram, Jones and Villares, 2017), such groups have rarely figured in contemporary debates on self-employment and/or entrepreneurship, other than in a few notable studies (Edwards et al. 2016; Ram et al, 2008).

Although migration seems to be absent from mainstream academic literature on business and management, the proponents of the ‘super diversity’ (Vertovec, 2007) paradigm have argued that at present a number of important populations are either excluded from the research agenda, or appear rarely; voices which play a critical role in the fabric of multicultural society.  For instance, in the field of business, the core concept associated with migration – “liabilities of foreignness” (Fang, et al., 2013) – sees “difference and distance” as liabilities, whether they are national, cultural, geographic, or semantic. While existing research is valuable, recently it has been suggested that an emphasis on liabilities and adverse outcomes associated with such differences may hinder our understanding of the processes and conditions that help to leverage the value of diversity in a wide range of contexts. Moreover, the field of entrepreneurship, treats ethnicity in a negative light, and the theory exploring ethnic minority enterprises seem to highlight the negative effects of environment on ethnic migrants who set up and run businesses in new geographical locations. Researchers in entrepreneurship have the opportunity to examine the specific political contexts of excluded groups (new arrivals: legal, illegal, and refugees) and pursue important theoretical and policy-related questions that cast light on the workings and complexities of modern economies around the world.

The aims of this Special issue are aligned to unpacking the interdependency of modes of organising on diversity, the recent increase in racialization of work, and the meaning of integration for newcomer populations, are key questions for future research within the field of entrepreneurship studies.

Interested authors might want to explore the variety of levels of spatiality (local, regional, national, international, transnational), variety of enterprises and individuals involved in business activity (self-employment, micro, small, medium-sized firm), variety of governing structures including family firms representing different generations; and ethnic minority enterprises set up by migrants from a variety of locations and migration waves. This Special Issue seeks to develop understanding of the inter-relationships between processes of migration and entrepreneurial behaviour within the broader entrepreneurship discipline. Research Questions may include but are not limited to: 

•    What are the “every day” manifestations of entrepreneurial practices and activities of migrants?
•    How do different migration experiences impact upon business start-up?
•    What is the role of co-ethnic and co-migrant networks in facilitating migrant entrepreneurial behaviour?
•    What is the role of diversity in the interdependency of modes of organising of migrant enterprises?
•    How has the recent increase in racialization of work impacted on migrant entrepreneurship?
•    What role do spatial and temporal dimensions play in migrant entrepreneurship?
•    How can the focus on gender advance our understanding of migrant entrepreneurship?
•    What can migrant experiences inform us about family firm functioning?
•    Do the experiences of contemporary migrants align with those of older patterns of migrants?
•    What can migrant experiences inform us about developing new forms of social enterprises?
•    Do migrant experiences facilitate more unconventional, values driven enterprise development?

Submission Guidelines: We invite both theoretical and empirical papers for this special issue. All submissions are subject to the standard double-blind review process. Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not concurrently under review for publication at another outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for the journal. Submission must be made though the ScholarOne site at by 28th February 2018. Submissions should be prepared according to the Author Guidelines found at 

When submitting your manuscript, please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process. Reviews, drafts and outcomes will be conducted through early to mid-2018, with publication for those accepted expected to be early 2019.

Initial queries can be directed towards any of the guest editors on the following email addresses: 

Natalia Vershinina on
Peter Rodgers on

Guest Editorial Team

Dr. Natalia Vershinina is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Birmingham Business School. She has a PhD in Business Relationships and prior to that completed MBA from De Montfort University, and DEng in Foreign Economic Relations from St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design. Her research cuts across diverse but complementary areas of entrepreneurship, gender, family firms, ethnicity and social class, and her latest papers are in Journal of Small Business Management, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development and Work, Employment and Society.  She is a Co-Chair for Entrepreneurship SIG and a Council Member at British Academy of Management, and a Co-Chair for Family and Community Business Track at Institute of Small Business and Enterprise Conference. She is also on the committee of ISBE Gender and Enterprise Network (GEN).

Dr. Peter Rodgers is a Lecturer of Strategy and International Business. Peter gained a BA (Hons) degree in Social and Political Sciences from Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge and an MA and PhD from the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham. Peter’s research interests include the nature of business-state relations in Russia and former socialist spaces, informal work and informal entrepreneurship. He has published widely in journals such as Work, Employment and Society, Environment and Planning C, International Small Business Journal, Employee Relations.

Selected References
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Barrett, R. and Vershinina, N. (2016). “Intersectionality of Ethnic and Entrepreneurial Identities: A Study of Post-War Polish Entrepreneurs in an English City”. Journal of Small Business Management.
Bruton, G.D., Ahlstrom, D. and Li, H.L. (2010). “Institutional theory and entrepreneurship: where are we now and where do we need to move in the future?” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(3): 421-440.
Ciupijus, Z. (2011). “Mobile central eastern Europeans in Britain: successful European Union citizens and disadvantaged labour migrants?” Work, Employment & Society, 25(3): 540-550.
De Clercq, D., and Voronov, M. (2009). “Toward a practice perspective of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial legitimacy as habitus”. International Small Business Journal, 27(4): 395-419.
Drinkwater, S., Eade, J. and Garapich, M. (2009). “Poles apart? EU enlargement and the labour market outcomes of immigrants in the United Kingdom”. International Migration, 47(1): 161-190.
Edwards, P., Ram, M., Jones, T. and Doldor, S. (2016). “New migrant businesses and their workers: developing, but not transforming, the ethnic economy”. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1-31.
Essers, C., Doorewaard, H., and Benschop, Y. (2013). Family ties: Migrant female business owners doing identity work on the public–private divide. Human Relations, 66(12): 1645-1665.
Fang, T., Samnani, A.K., Novicevic, M.M. and Bing, M.N. (2013). Liability-of-foreignness effects on job success of immigrant job seekers. Journal of World Business, 48(1): 98-109.
Gartner, W.B. (2013) “Creating a community of difference in entrepreneurship scholarship.”
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Jones, O., Ghobadian, A., O’ Regan, N. and Antcliff, V. (2013). Dynamic capabilities in a sixth
generation family firm: entrepreneurship and the Bibby Line. Business History, 55(6): 910-941.
Jones, T., et al. (2014) “Mixed embeddedness and new migrant enterprise in the UK.”
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development 26(5-6): 500-520.
Khattab, N. and Fox, J. (2016). East-European immigrants responding to the recession in Britain: is there a trade-off between unemployment and over-qualification? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-16.
López-Fernández, M.C., Serrano-Bedia, A.M. and Pérez-Pérez, M. (2016). “Entrepreneurship
and Family Firm Research: A Bibliometric Analysis of an Emerging Field.” Journal of Small
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McKeever, E., Anderson, A. and Jack, S. (2014). “Entrepreneurship and mutuality: social capital in processes and practices.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development 26(5-6): 453-477.
Rehn, A. and Taalas, S. (2004). Znakomstva I Svyazi! [Acquaintances and Connections]: Blat, the
Soviet Union and mundane entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 16(3): 235–250.
Ram, M., Theodorakopoulos, N. and Jones, T. (2008). “Forms of capital, mixed embeddedness and Somali enterprise.” Work, employment and society, 22(3): 427-446.
Ram, M., Jones, T. and Villares-Varela, M. (2016). “Migrant entrepreneurship: Reflections on research and practice.” International Small Business Journal, 0266242616678051.
Sharma, P. and Chua, J. H. (2013). “Asian family enterprises and family business research.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 30(3): 641-656.
Steyaert, C. (2005) “Entrepreneurship: in between what? On the” frontier” as a discourse of
Entrepreneurship research.” International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 2(1): 2-16.
Vershinina, N., Barrett, R. and Meyer, M. (2011). “Forms of capital, intra-ethnic variation and Polish entrepreneurs in Leicester”. Work, Employment and Society, 25(1): 101-117.

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