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Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirement of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This thesis intersects the theoretical fields of nascent entrepreneurship and cross-cultural adaptation. The key research question that guides this research is: What is the nascent entrepreneurial journey of an immigrant within an Irish context of cross cultural adaptation? The study explores the notion that the nascent entrepreneurial and cross-cultural adaptation journeys of immigrants in this study are intertwined and dynamically interact with each other.

Despite much academic interest in nascent entrepreneurship, there is a lack of qualitative studies that focus on understanding the nascent entrepreneurial process of immigrants on a longitudinal basis. Additionally, the immigrant/ethnic specific entrepreneurship theories frequently overlook the nascent entrepreneurial experiences of an individual and instead focus on group level analysis with a limited application of cross-cultural adaptation variables. It is within this theoretical space that this research seeks to make its contribution. Understanding this under-researched phenomenon within an Irish context adds an additional research opportunity.

Methodologically based on a qualitative, longitudinal quasi-ethnographic research approach, the study focused on a close and in-depth investigation of six immigrants over a period of 18 months. The researcher, who is also an immigrant, used the methods of participant observation, qualitative interviewing, and informal communication to create new insights and enlighten the nature of this elusive process.

The findings of the research enhanced the understanding of the nascent entrepreneurial journey of an immigrant situated within an Irish context of cross-cultural adaptation. The study design gave voices to the individual immigrants which has been missing from previous studies. Capturing the arrival of an economic recession during the time of the study, the research showed how the individuals negotiated their positions and resources, and how they dynamically moved either closer or further away from achieving their aims. These aims, which were simple in theory, yet complicated in practice, were centred around the continuous efforts of moving from surviving towards living.



TU Dublin