Title: Repatriates as entrepreneurs? - A theoretical analysis

Authors: Elizabeth C. Burer; Susanne Schlepphorst; Arndt Werner; Petra Moog

Addresses: Research School of Business and Economics (RSBE), University of Siegen, Am Eichenhang 50, Siegen, 57068, Germany ' Research School of Business and Economics (RSBE), University of Siegen, Am Eichenhang 50, Siegen, 57068, Germany ' Research School of Business and Economics (RSBE), University of Siegen, Am Eichenhang 50, Siegen, 57068, Germany ' Faculty III – University of Siegen, Hoelderlinstr, 3, 57068, Siegen, Germany

Abstract: This contribution raises the question as to whether repatriates may pursue entrepreneurship and aims to theoretically determine if repatriates are particularly suitable candidates for venturing into self-employment. To address this research question, the Jack-of-all trades view and the human and social capital theories are employed. Research shows that insufficient repatriation strategies in international firms, lead these usually qualified, skilled and experienced employees to change employers after an international assignment. Clear insights into whether they also opt for self-employment as a career path are unavailable. To investigate this prospect, the opportunity recognition and development approach is applied because the realisation and exploitation of market opportunities is a precondition for venturing into self-employment. The above named theories are also employed to compare repatriates and start-up entrepreneurs as they have been found to facilitate the identification and exploitation of ideas. Profile similarities are found to prevail thus supporting our proposition.

Keywords: repatriates; start-up entrepreneurs; human capital; social capital; Jack-of-all trades; opportunity recognition; networks; entrepreneurship; self-employment; repatriation strategies; opportunity development; market opportunities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2013.055295

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.292 - 309

Published online: 25 Jul 2013 *

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