The Role of Immigration as a Social Network on Shaping Entrepreneurship Tendency: A Research on Balkan Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Turkey

Article excerpt


The main purpose of the current study is to explain immigration concept and the effects of social networks occurring in the grounds of immigration on the entrepreneurship tendencies of immigrant entrepreneurs especially for the sampling of Balkan immigrant entrepreneurs. Keeping this main purpose in mind, interviews were made with 17 Balkan immigrant entrepreneurs. First of all, the data obtained from this research show that social networks occurring in the grounds of immigration are used by immigrant entrepreneurs in a specific way for forming work conception, providing necessary information and support to set up business, supplying with required finance and choosing the staff. Besides, the results of this research display that Balkan immigrant entrepreneurs living in Turkey would rather make use of group dynamics and sources on the basis of individual pragmatism than keep and protect them as a closed social network.

Key words: Immigrants; Immigration entrepreneurship; Social networks; Balkan immigrants


Recent developments both lay the stress on the fact that immigration entrepreneurship is one of the important components of economic growth and show that social networks play a crucial role in immigration entrepreneurship activities (Chand & Ghorbani, 2011). Stemming from the mentioned situation above, the interest towards the studies which tried to explain the effects of social networks shaped by immigration ground on the immigrants' entrepreneurship activities and the success of these activities has started to increase considerably since the second half of 1980s (Marger, 2001; Nee & Sanders, 2001; Zhou & Bankston, 1994; Nee & Sanders, 1987). The studies in the related literature were based on the situations in U.S.A, England, Germany, Canada and France which is relatively less than the others. The fact that the existing studies were carved out in the mentioned countries which are so limited is one of the vital inadequacy of the related literature. As it is known, business management activities are run in an organizational field. It is a well-known fact that every organizational field constructs an immigration reception which is unique and it also builds a self- entrepreneur profile and social network creation-usage typology. What's more, both the styles of entrepreneurs' energizing & carrying out their activities and the fact that which sources have a more functional role in the context of social network vary according to the organizational field they take part in.

Another point that organizational fields vary in their special features is the effects of group sources on entrepreneurial activities. As it is clearly known, immigrant groups have the capability of creating prominent group sources, which is a result of being immigrant. (Bonacich & Model, 1980; Sanders & Nee, 1996; Sequeira, Mueller & McGee, 2007). Both the effect of group sources on entrepreneurship and immigrant groups' capability of creating the mentioned sources vary according to the organizational field they take part in. It can be explicitly stated that diversification of the regions and countries where immigrant entrepreneurs and social network phenomena are investigated will make a considerable contribution to enrich the related literature.

With keeping the mission of increasing the effectiveness of the related literature in mind, the current manuscript aims to explain the effects of social networks which were based on immigration concept on immigrants' entrepreneurship activities and the success of these activities via Balkan immigrant entrepreneurs living in Turkey. In the frame of this main purpose, the following questions were tried to be answered in the research: What are the direction and level of the effects of immigration group based social networks in immigrant entrepreneurs' setting up business, getting information to found the business, supplying the necessary finance, detecting and choosing suppliers? …


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