Transnational Entrepreneurship


Transnational Entrepreneurship and Global Reach: What Future for Globalization? Waterloo, Ontario, 30 Apr - 1 May 2008; Deadline 31 Jan 2008

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The Centre for the study of nascent entrepreneurship and the eXploitation of technology (NeXt) at Wilfrid Laurier University, invites you to submit a paper for a Conference in Waterloo, Ontario Canada, to be held April 30-May 1, 2008. Expenses for travel (economy-excursion class round trip) and accommodation may be partially covered for speakers and discussants. Papers presented at the conference will be considered for a special issue in ET&P, edited by Israel Droi, Benson Honig, and Mike Wright, entitled ‘Transnational Entrepreneurship and Global Reach’ to be published Sept. 2009.

What Future for Globalization?

Keynote Speaker: Ivan Light (UCLA)

Theme 1: Transnational Entrepreneurship

The concept of transnational entrepreneurship (TE) as a distinct attribute of globalization has drawn considerable attention in social science disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, economics, economic geography, and regional planning. Transnational entrepreneurs are individuals that migrate from one country to another, concurrently maintaining business-related linkages with their countries of origin and currently adopted countries and communities. By traveling both physically and virtually, transnational entrepreneurs engage simultaneously in two or more socially embedded environments, allowing them to maintain critical global relations that enhance their ability to creatively and efficiently maximize their resource base. TE’s promote international trade by taking advantage of globalization and the entrepreneurs’ cosmopolitan way of life, enabling a more timely acquisition of resources required for operating cross-national businesses.

The growing impact of transnational entrepreneurship can be mainly attributed to the changing nature of international migration and diasporas, and to the complex nature of international business activities.

Understanding how transnational entrepreneurs translate, innovate, and modify structures, simultaneously operating in two distinctive cultural paradigms, remains a challenge for the field of entrepreneurship. We seek discussion regarding how transnational entrepreneurs balance the tensions between home and host country, and the demands related to social objectives over economic ones. Thus, both agency and practice appear to be particularly important when examining the process of seeking and exploiting business opportunities within dual social structures. We welcome a variety of topics and perspectives.

General subjects of interests include (but are certainly not limited to) the following:

  1. Conceptual and definitional issues
    • Demarcation of the empirical scope and analytical boundaries of transnational entrepreneurship (TE) research.
    • Addressing the epistemological challenges reflected in TE multiple relationships and different cultural and institutional environments.
    • Integrating micro-meso and macro- levels of analysis in TE research.
    • Reviewing analytical frameworks (e.g practice, institutional, ecological , network, social capital or resource base) which assist in understanding the dynamic nature of TE as it flows through the intersection of individual and collective meanings, perceptions, experiences and practices.
  2. Transnational entrepreneurship processes and dynamics
    • What are the different strategies of action that transnational entrepreneurs undertake?
    • In what ways might the varied institutional setting at either home or destination influence the prospects of success for transnational entrepreneurs, and why?
    • What are the cultural frames of reference, symbolic orders and schemas of meaning that transnational entrepreneurs consider when operating in dual settings?
    • What kinds of businesses opportunities are most amenable for transnational entrepreneurship, and what are the best ways of exploiting them?
    • Why do transnational entrepreneurs fail?
    • How does the legal and regulatory regime impact transnational entrepreneurs?
    • What is the role of social and industry networks for transnational entrepreneurship, and how and why are they formed and structured ?
    • What is the life-cycle of the transnational enterprise and how is it structured?
    • What are the political forces behind the ability to secure resources and to compete in dual environments?
    • How do transnational entrepreneurs generate legitimacy from their dual environments?
    • How do transnational entrepreneurs used social capital and knowledge for the purpose of setting and operating a business?

All abstracts must be received no later than 31st Jan 2008.

Abstracts for papers should be e-mailed to Benson Honig, Director of NeXt at

Conference drafts must be available by April 11th in order that they may be posted on the NeXt website).

EXPENSES: Expenses for travel (economy-excursion class round trip) and accommodation may be partially covered for speakers and discussants.

Benson Honig Ph.D.
Betty and Peter Sims Professor of Entrepreneurship,
Director, NeXt
Wilfrid Laurier School of Business and Economics
Waterloo Ontario Canada N2L3C5
Tel: 519-884-0710 ext.2909
fax: 519-884-0201
Cell: 905-518-1716