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Cosmopolitanism and transnational elite entrepreneurial practices : manifesting the cosmopolitan disposition in a cosmopolitan city

Nicolopoulou, Katerina and Kakabadse, Nada K. and Nikolopoulos, Kanellos-Panagiotis and Alcaraz, Jose M. and Sakellariou, Konstantina (2016) Cosmopolitanism and transnational elite entrepreneurial practices : manifesting the cosmopolitan disposition in a cosmopolitan city. Society and Business Review, 11 (3). pp. 257-275.

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Abstract

Purpose The paper aims to focus on the role that cosmopolitanism and, in particular, “the cosmopolitan disposition” (Woodward et al., 2008) plays in the process of entrepreneurial business by transnational business elites in Dubai. Design/methodology/approach Adopting a relational perspective based on Bourdieu and Wacquant’s (1992) Reflexive Sociology, as well as an inductive design, the authors conducted 30 semi-structured interviews focusing on both expatriates and Emiratis (locals/nationals) who displayed key features of a transnational business elite. Findings The findings indicate that the cosmopolitan disposition is an asset for transnational business elites when they venture in the context of Dubai. Research limitations/implications The findings would have to be further replicated in similar contexts, i.e. other major cities displaying similar cosmopolitan features with Dubai. A theoretical framework that calls for further study of transnational entrepreneurship via the lens of cosmopolitan disposition and Bourdieuan “habitus” is proposed. Practical implications The research outlines cosmopolitan skills for a transnational business elite which are required when entrepreneurial ventures are developed in the context of a city like Dubai. Social implications Cosmopolitanism and transnational entrepreneurship change cities like Dubai around the world constantly. Therefore, this study aims at achieving a better understanding of these changes and the ways in which they occur. Originality/value Studies on transnational entrepreneurship have already adopted Bourdieu’s theory (1977/1986), but this is the first time the cosmopolitan perspective and disposition is researched using this approach.