Do Networks do the Works? Indian Entrepreneurs in Poland and Belgium

Joanna Nestorowicz
January 2009
Proceedings of the European Conference on Entrepreneurship & Inn;2009, p341
Conference Proceeding
This paper deals with the notion of networks in the process of entrepreneurial migration. Indian businessmen settled in Poland and Belgium constitute a purposefully selected sample for an empirical study. The study was carried out by means of qualitative research methods and tools, which best suited the process of finding answers to the stated research questions. The sample selection both in terms of destination countries and ethnic origin was also determined methodologically. Such choices enabled cross-country comparisons and captured, otherwise unobservable, explanatory factors. Based on a theoretical analysis of previous contributions to literature on migration and entrepreneurship, this study develops a conceptual framework for analysis of entrepreneurial migration. It defines three areas of research on the topic: the migration decision making process, endogenous business-related factors and exogenous factors affecting business establishment. It also makes an attempt to combine theoretical approaches to the network theory from two economic subdisciplines in order to explain the phenomenon of entrepreneurial migration in a more holistic scheme. Further on, the analysis relates the findings to various kinds of networks, which may possibly be exploited by migrant entrepreneurs. So far, the divergent social relations have been denoted simply as migration networks. The decomposition of the latter into family and business relations brings significant insights into international mobility of entrepreneurs. Moreover, the types networks in question were analyzed in relation to each other, as that is what is commonly observed empirically. The exploitation of qualitative methods in the research enables probing into the topic in order to capture otherwise unmeasurable characteristics of network formation and utilization. The empirical part of the research consists of 30 semi-structured interviews with Indian entrepreneurs in Poland and Belgium. The paper analyzes the findings from this study, what leads to recognizing the main determinant of network functioning among immigrant businessmen.


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