Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorEverett, André M.
dc.contributor.advisorO'Kane, Conor
dc.contributor.authorAbd Hamid, Hamizah
dc.identifier.citationAbd Hamid, H. (2017). Cultural Distance and Ethnic Migrant Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Comparative Inquiry of Challenges, Resources and Opportunity Exploitation in Malaysia (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe core puzzle in entrepreneurship studies is entrepreneurial opportunities (Suddaby, Bruton, & Si, 2015). In enhancing the understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities, this research explores how cultural similarities and differences between countries influence entrepreneurial activities in a selected host country. This study focuses on the experiences of ethnic migrant entrepreneurs (EMEs) from three migrant sending countries: Indonesia, Pakistan and South Korea (Korea hereafter), in a single host country, Malaysia. Cultural distance (CD) (Kogut & Singh, 1988) calculated using Hofstede’s (2015) indices is employed as a construct to illustrate cultural similarities and differences of country pairings, in which Indonesia as a country is most culturally similar to Malaysia, followed by Pakistan and Korea. The institutional approach (North, 1990; Scott, 2014) frames this study, particularly through North’s (1990, 2005) classification of formal and informal institutions, combined with Scott’s (1995, 2014) conceptualisation of regulative, normative and cognitive institutional pillars. The Forms of Capital model (Bourdieu, 1983; Nee & Sanders, 2001; Vershinina, Barrett, & Meyer, 2011) and the concept of entrepreneurial opportunities (Eckhardt & Shane, 2003; Shane, 2000, 2003; Shane & Venkataraman, 2000) provide complementing theoretical and conceptual basis for this research. Views from the field of ethnic migrant entrepreneurship are incorporated to deepen the contextualised understanding of this study. The rich and in-depth findings of the research are a result of adopting a qualitative approach employing multiple case studies (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2014), enabling a real-life investigation of the context based on detailed narratives (Flyvbjerg, 2006). The three migrant-sending countries are represented as three case studies for this research. This study relied on primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data were obtained from interviews with 32 EMEs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Additionally, eight supplementary interviews were held with home country trade leaders in the host country, embassy representatives, community leaders and a trade representative from the host country’s official trade agency arm of the government. Secondary data sources, such as trade reports, business directories, community-based magazines and newspapers and websites, were used throughout the research for verification of interviewees’ statements where appropriate. The results of this study indicated that cultural similarities influence ethnic migrant entrepreneurship activities within three aspects: the institutional environment of the host country, sources of key business support and the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities. This study produced several propositions which can enrich the discussion on entrepreneurship in international settings. This research offers (a) a link in connecting the institutional-individual gap in discussing entrepreneurship through an institutional lens and (b) a more balanced view of culture in researching international business. As a growing field in international business, researchers are recommended to study underexplored countries, such as Malaysia, in assisting them in examining the selected entrepreneurship phenomenon (Terjesen, Hessels, & Li, 2016). Practice-wise, international entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs across borders will find this study beneficial for future undertakings of international ventures and this research will be useful for policymakers in tailoring trade-related policies in relation to the potential contributions of migration.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectCultural Distance
dc.subjectInstitutional Theory
dc.subjectMigrant entrepreneurs
dc.titleCultural Distance and Ethnic Migrant Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Comparative Inquiry of Challenges, Resources and Opportunity Exploitation in Malaysia
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
 Find in your library

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item is not available in full-text via OUR Archive.

If you are the author of this item, please contact us if you wish to discuss making the full text publicly available.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record