Entrepreneurship by immigrants: a review of existing literature and directions for future research

  • Ratan J. S. Dheer


The topic of immigrant entrepreneurship has gained considerable attention in social and policy circles around the world. Likewise, research on it has grown significantly over the past few decades, with studies examining the micro-, meso-, and macro-level antecedents and consequences of this phenomenon. While contributing to our knowledge, this growth in literature has also created complexity within this domain. As such, there is a need to take stock of current research. In the present study, I advance in this direction. I delineate the boundaries and outline the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurship research to the field of entrepreneurship. Thereafter, based on a comprehensive review of 69 studies published between 1980 and 2016 in journals across multiple disciplines, I develop a framework to integrate findings within this domain. Finally, I identify gaps and advance suggestions for future research. It is hoped that these steps will provide a clear vision of common research ground on which to build theory, identify assumptions, develop meaningful research questions and establish the ontological and epistemological base of this domain.


Immigrant entrepreneurship Foreign business owners Literature review Domain analysis 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, College of BusinessEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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