Diaspora Net​

The project focuses on diaspora networks and their role in international business (IB). Here the term diaspora refers to ethnic minority groups of migrant origin residing and acting in host countries, but maintaining strong sentimental and material links with their countries of origin.

Until recently, the benefits and opportunities of diaspora networks have been neglected in IB research and therefore this study explores their mechanisms and activities, focusing on the question “How diaspora networks could be used more effectively and efficiently for opportunity exploration and exploitation in international entrepreneurship?” This question is divided into subquestions related to (1) the impact of learning, transnationalism and evolution of cultural identity configurations, (2) the management and improvement of resource utilization, schemas and intercultural competences, (3) the information & knowledge transfer and opportunity development in diaspora networks as well as (4) the communication systems and tools (cf. digital diaspora). The project uses a mixed methods research strategy, combining different types of data and analysis methods (e.g. ethnography, netnography, NVivo, UCINET).

The theoretical contributions of the project are several. First, the phenomenon can be studied from multiple perspectives, including the spatial dimension (e.g. cross-country and other geographical comparisons) and time dimension (comparisons across generations). Second, it allows the utilization of knowledge from multiple disciplines to inform IB scholars, including anthropology, cultural studies and political studies. Third, the researchers in the team benefit from the created “open source” data warehouse for authorized researchers, where they can share and co-use various types of data collected for the project (video-taped interviews, visual data, field notes, archive material, reports, quantitative data files).

DiasporaNet is coordinated by the TSE but the international and interdisciplinary team members represent various disciplines (international business, public administration, ethnology, psychology, history) and countries (Finland, Germany, Poland, the USA, Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Ghana) The fact that most of the researchers are diasporians themselves provides a unique constellation of resources, cultures and languages in addition to personal experience and the right chemistry of previous cooperation.

Contact person: Maria Elo