Skip to main content

Diaspora investment promotion via public–private partnerships: Case-study insights and IB research implications from the Succeed in Ireland initiative


Recent research in international business and related fields suggests that a country’s overseas migrant populations can facilitate its inward flow of foreign direct investment (FDI). How do recipient-country governments interested in attracting more migrant-facilitated FDI respond? We provide the first exploratory study of recipient-country response by examining a public–private partnership (PPP) between government-run investment promotion agencies and diaspora-focused non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Evidence from a review of the Succeed in Ireland initiative, a partnership between the Investment Development Agency of Ireland and an NGO called ConnectIreland, provides novel insights into PPP strengths and weaknesses. We use these insights to develop propositions for future research and practical guidance on the optimal PPP design to attract more migrant-facilitated FDI.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Aalbers, M. 2009. Geographies of the financial crisis. Area, 41(1): 34-42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Agunias, D. R. 2013. How to improve diaspora engagement. The Guardian, February 20. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Agunias, D., & Newland, K. 2012. Developing a road map for engaging diasporas in development: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners in home and host countries. Grand-Saconnex: International Organization for Migration.

    Google Scholar 

  • Anderson, J., & Sutherland, D. 2015. Developed economy investment promotion agencies and emerging market foreign direct investment: The case of Chinese FDI in Canada. Journal of World Business, 50(4): 815-825.

    Google Scholar 

  • Artz, K.W. and Brush, T.H., 2000. Asset specificity, uncertainty and relational norms: An examination of coordination costs in collaborative strategic alliances. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 41(4): 337-362.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barry, F., & Fathartaigh, M. Ó. 2015. The Industrial Development Authority, 1949–58: Establishment, evolution and expansion of influence. Irish Historical Studies, 39(155): 460-478.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bingham, L. B., Nabatchi, T., & O’Leary, R. 2005. The new governance: Practices and processes for stakeholder and citizen participation in the work of government. Public Administration Review, 65(5): 547–558.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boly, A., Coniglio, N., Prota, F. & Seric, A. 2012. Diaspora investments and firm export performance in selected sub-Saharan African countries. UNIDO working paper.

  • Brinkerhoff, J.M. 2011. Diasporas and conflict societies: Conflict entrepreneurs, competing interests or contributors to stability and development? Conflict, Security & Development, 11(02): 115-143.

    Google Scholar 

  • Buckley, P. J. 2018. Towards a theoretically-based global foreign direct investment policy regime. Journal of International Business Policy, 1(3-4): 184-207.

    Google Scholar 

  • ConnectIreland. 2012a. Ennis Chamber Breakfast Briefing to showcase reward for jobs initiative [Press release], 25 June. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2012b. Martin Sheen, Michael Flatley and Saoirse Ronan on ConnectIreland. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2012c. Irish-American Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley to support Irish job creation [Press release], March 17. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2012d. Succeed in Ireland initiative announces its first company win Intergeo Services to establish EMEA headquarters in Carlow with the creation of 30 jobs [Press release], May 24. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2013. 83 jobs announced in Cork and Dublin under the Succeed in Ireland Initiative by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister Richard Bruton [Press release], 4 October. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2014a. Emigrants could be home for good if we all played our part, ConnectIreland campaigners say [Press release], 23 December. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2014b. Irish people, through their connections, introduce 36 companies to Ireland, which plan to create 1,000 jobs [Press release], 3 December. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • ConnectIreland. 2014c. Meath Gaeltacht area to benefit from jobs boost as Clearplas establish operations. [Press release], 3 December. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Coughlin, C. C., & Segev, E. 2000. Location determinants of new foreign-owned manufacturing plants. Journal of Regional Science, 40(2): 323-351.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cummings, M., & Gamlen, A. 2019. Diaspora engagement institutions and venture investment activity in developing countries. Journal of International Business Policy (this issue).

  • DIOC. 2011. Database on Immigrants in OECD and non-OECD countries. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Deakin, S., & J. Michie. 1997. The theory and practice of contracting. In S. Deakin & J. Michie (Eds), Contracts, co-operation and competitionStudies in economics, management and law: 1–39. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Debass, T., & Ardovino, M. 2009. Diaspora direct investment (DDI): The untapped resource for development. Washington, DC: United States Agency for International Development. http://pdf.usaid. gov/pdf_docs/PNADO983.pdf.

  • Deloitte. 2007. Closing the infrastructure gap – The role of public private partnerships. London: Deloitte Research. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Esty, B. C. 2004. Why study large projects? An introduction to research on project finance. European Financial Management, 10(2): 213–224.

    Google Scholar 

  • Esty, B. C., & Ferman, C. 2001. The Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project (B). Harvard Business School Supplement 202–012, October 2001.

  • Fanning, E. P. 1984. United States investment in Ireland. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, 17: 563.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gamlen, A., 2006. Diaspora engagement policies: What are they and what kinds of states use them? Working paper. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Gamlen, A., Cummings, M. E., & Vaaler, P. M. 2019. Explaining the rise of diaspora institutions. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(4): 492-516.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gereffi, G., 2019. Global value chains and international development policy: Bringing firms, networks and policy-engaged scholarship back in. Journal of International Business Policy, 2: 195–210.

    Google Scholar 

  • Garvin, M. J., & Bosso, D. 2008. Assessing the effectiveness of infrastructure public–private partnership programs and projects. Public Works Management & Policy, 13(2), 162-178.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gould, D. M. 1994. Immigrant links to the home country: Empirical implications for US bilateral trade flows. Review of Economics and Statistics, 76(2): 302-316.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, B. 2014. Diaspora-owned firms and social responsibility, Review of International Political Economy, 21(2): 432-466.

    Google Scholar 

  • Griffin, D. 2012. Making the right connections. The Irish World, July 7. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Guimón, J., & Filippov, S. 2017. Competing for high-quality FDI: Management challenges for investment promotion agencies. Institutions and Economies, 4: 25-44.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harding, T., & Javorcik, B. S. 2011. Roll out the red carpet and they will come: Investment promotion and FDI inflows. The Economic Journal, 121(557): 1445-1476.

    Google Scholar 

  • Head, K., & Ries, J. 2010. Do trade missions increase trade? Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d’économique, 43(3): 754-775.

    Google Scholar 

  • Head, C.K., Ries, J.C. and Swenson, D.L., 1999. Attracting foreign manufacturing: Investment promotion and agglomeration. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 29(2): 197-218.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hodge, G. A., & Greve, C. 2007. Public–private partnerships: An international performance review. Public Administration Review, 67(3), 545-558.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hodge, G.A. and Greve, C., 2017. On public–private partnership performance: A contemporary review. Public Works Management & Policy, 22(1): 55-78.

    Google Scholar 

  • Iammarino, S. 2018. FDI and regional development policy. Journal of International Business Policy, 1(3–4): 157–183.

    Google Scholar 

  • IDA. 2003. IDA Ireland Annual Report. Dublin.

  • IDA Ireland, n.d. FAQs. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • IDA Ireland. 2012. Annual report and accounts. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • IDA Ireland accused of blocking potential job creators. 2017. RTE, March 22. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Invest India, n.d. About us. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • James, B. E., & Vaaler, P. M. 2018. Minority rules: Credible state ownership and investment risk around the world. Organization Science, 29(4): 653-677.

    Google Scholar 

  • Javorcik, B.S., Özden, Ç., Spatareanu, M. and Neagu, C., 2011. Migrant networks and foreign direct investment. Journal of Development Economics, 94(2): 231-241.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. 1976. Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3: 305–360.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolk, A., Rivera-Santos, M., & Rufín, C. 2018. Multinationals, international business, and poverty: A cross-disciplinary research overview and conceptual framework. Journal of International Business Policy, 1(1-2): 92-115.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leblang, D., 2010. Familiarity breeds investment: Diaspora networks and international investment. American Political Science Review, 104(3): 584-600.

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, Y., Hernandez, E., & Gwon, S. 2019. When do ethnic communities affect foreign location choice? Dual entry strategies of Korean Banks in China. Academy of Management Journal, 62(1): 172-195.

    Google Scholar 

  • Loewendahl, H. 2001. A framework for FDI promotion. Transnational Corporations, 10(1): 1-42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lonsdale, C. 2005. Risk transfer and the UK private finance initiative: A theoretical analysis. Policy and Politics, 33: 231–249.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martinez, C., Cummings, M. E., & Vaaler, P. M. 2015. Economic informality and the venture funding impact of migrant remittances to developing countries. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(4): 526-545.

    Google Scholar 

  • McWilliams, D. 2007. Ireland’s future depends on diaspora’s ‘soft power’. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Monagan, D. 2013. Psst! Cash on the barrelhead for moving jobs to Ireland. Forbes, March 4.

  • Morisset, J. 2003. Does a country need a promotion agency to attract foreign direct investment?: A small analytical model applied to 58 countries (Vol. 3028). Washington, DC: World Bank Publations.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morisset, J., & Andrews-Johnson, K. 2004. The effectiveness of promotion agencies at attracting foreign direct investment (Vol. 16). Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mudambi, R., & Pedersen, T. 2007. Agency theory and resource dependency theory: Complementary explanations for subsidiary power in multinational corporations. In T. Pedersen and H. Volberda (eds) Bridging IB theories, constructs, and methods across cultures and social sciences. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan pp. 1–16.

  • Musacchio, A., & Lazzarini, S. G. 2014. Reinventing state capitalism: Leviathan in business, Brazil and beyond. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Myers, M. D. 2013. Qualitative research in business and management, 2nd edn. London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Connor, F. 2017. Clune banking on global fintech deals, Independent, June 18, Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • O’Donoghue, P. 2017a. A shelved scheme to create jobs could be replaced after falling short of its target. Fora, February 10. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • O’Donoghue, P. 2017b. If this was France we would protect our jobs. In Ireland we don’t seem to care. Fora, March 21. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • O’Halloran, M. 2017. Fianna Fáil appeals to Minister over IDA ‘competitor’. The Irish Times, March 23. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Patton, M.Q. 2002. Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. 1978. The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York: Harper and Row.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rawhouser, H., Cummings, M. E., & Marcus, A. 2018. Sustainability standards and stakeholder engagement: Lessons from carbon markets. Organization & Environment, 31(3): 263–282.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reeves, E., 2008. The practice of contracting in public private partnerships: Transaction costs and relational contracting in the Irish schools sector. Public Administration, 86(4): 969-986.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reilly, T., & Collins, K. 2008. Science and the Gaelic sports: Gaelic football and hurling. European Journal of Sport Science, 8(5): 231-240.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riddle, L, Brinkerhoff, J.M and Nielsen, T.M. 2008. Partnering to beckon them home: Public-Sector Innovation for Diaspora Foreign Investment promotion. Public Administration and Development, 28(1): 54-66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riddle, L. 2017. Diaspora engagement and the Sustainable Development Goals. In Appave G. & Sinha, N. (Eds), Migration in the 2030 agenda, 1-22. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Rufín, C., & Rivera-Santos, M. 2012. Between commonwealth and competition: Understanding the governance of public–private partnerships. Journal of Management 38(5): 1634-1654.

    Google Scholar 

  • Saxenian, A. 2006. The new argonauts: Regional advantage in a global economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tung, R. L., & Chung, H. F. 2010. Diaspora and trade facilitation: The case of ethnic Chinese in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 27(3): 371-392.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vaaler, P. M. 2011. Immigrant remittances and the venture investment environment of developing countries. Journal of International Business Studies, 42(9): 1121-1149.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vaaler, P. M. 2013. Diaspora concentration and the venture investment impact of remittances. Journal of International Management, 19(1): 26-46.

    Google Scholar 

  • WAIPA. 2018. Members list. Accessed 13 May 2019.

  • Walsh, K. 1995. Public services and market mechanism – Competition, contracting and the new public management. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wells, L. T., & Wint, A. G. 2000. Marketing a country: Promotion as a tool for attracting foreign investment. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilkinson, T. J., & Brouthers, L. E. 2000. An evaluation of state sponsored promotion programs. Journal of Business Research, 47(3): 229-236.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williamson, O. E. 1985. The economic institutions of capitalism. New York: Free Press.

  • Yergin, D., & Stanislaw, J. 1998. The commanding heights. The battle between government and the marketplace that is remaking the modern world. New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • Yin, R. K. 2012. Case study research and applications: Design and methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank Joanna Murphy and our expert informants for their cooperation and support on this project. We indebted to the editorial guidance of Paul Vaaler and two anonymous reviewers for their feedback and recommendations. This research has also benefitted from helpful comments by conference attendees at the Academy of International Business and the International Association for Business and Society. All errors are ours.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael E. Cummings.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Accepted by Paul Vaaler, Area Editor, 9 October 2019. This article has been with the authors for two revisions

Appendix: Selected ConnectIreland Jobs Announcements, 2012–2016

Appendix: Selected ConnectIreland Jobs Announcements, 2012–2016

Announcement date




Number of jobs


 1 June


Environmental contracting




 27 May


Production of basalt fibre



 19 July


Automotive coating business



 19 July


Consultancy and recruitment services for maritime companies



 19 July


Consulting services in ETRM (Energy Trading Risk Management) sector



 4 October

Sound and Sea

Ocean and marine engineering services




IA Innovation

European Corporate Training entity of Improv Asylum





Technology consulting and government relations




Bayne Law Group

Legal consultancy




 19 November


Technology and technical support

Kells, Meath


 3 December

Clearplas and

Plastics reprocessing





Medical records software for The optical industry



 11 December


IT efficiency software




 30 March

Deko foods

Ethnic foods manufacturer



 8 April


Electro-mechanical component manufacturer



 5 May


Health food manufacturer and distributor



 15 June


Business analytics software, consulting, and education services



 16 June





 1 July

Absorb Technology (Blatant Media)

Software platform for training courses



 2 July


Customizable financial technology platform for investment firms



 20 August

6D Global

Digital business solutions (marketing and technology)



 7 September


Security solutions for businesses



 6 October


Software development



 20 November


Technology/ native advertising platform




 9 March


Shopping site



 19 May

Castle Craig

Residential rehabilitation hospital

Ardee, County Louth


 22 September


Search engine for smart shoppers



 27 September


Banking and financial technology



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Poliakova, E., Riddle, L. & Cummings, M.E. Diaspora investment promotion via public–private partnerships: Case-study insights and IB research implications from the Succeed in Ireland initiative. J Int Bus Policy 3, 23–37 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • migrants
  • foreign direct investment
  • investment-promotion agencies
  • principal-agent theory
  • public–private partnerships
  • case study