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Enabling social identity interaction : Bulgarian migrant entrepreneurs building embeddedness to a transnational network

Stoyanov, Stoyan (2017) Enabling social identity interaction : Bulgarian migrant entrepreneurs building embeddedness to a transnational network. British Journal of Management. pp. 1-39. ISSN 1045-3172 (In Press)

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    Bulgarian migrant entrepreneurs (MEs) approaching diaspora networks (i.e. ethnic spaces in host countries) provides a unique context for exploring the processes by which peripheral actors achieve embeddedness. The study considers how in-group social norms and expectations influence out-group candidates’ network standing. The integration of the social identity perspective with embeddedness research allows identifying the sequence of intergroup actions and the circulation of identity signals between groups. Traditionally, the social identity perspective focuses on the act of constructing identity through positively stereotyping in-groups and negatively stereotyping out-groups. Nevertheless, an empirical study of 12 cases of Bulgarian MEs indicates that the circulation of identity signals that facilitate inter-group comparison can result in complementarity and brokerage. The study suggests the existence of a novel strategy (i.e., social circulation), to add to already known social identity strategies (i.e. social mobility, social creativity and social change). Contrary to previous ones, the new construct does not occur at the expense of either in-groups’ or out-groups’ identity. Thus, it adopts an integrative logic, currently missing from the social identity perspective.