Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Strategic Management

Committee Director

William Q. Judge

Committee Member

Anil Nair

Committee Member

Edward Markowski

Committee Member

Jing Zhang


Despite the saliency of immigrant entrepreneurship, our understanding of the unique challenges of start-up processes confronting immigrant entrepreneurs is quite limited. While entrepreneurship as a field of study is growing rapidly, it is criticized for the lack of commonly accepted and well developed research paradigms. To address this theoretical gap in the entrepreneurship literature in general and in the immigrant entrepreneurship research in particular this dissertation addresses the following overarching question in a three essay format: What are the start-up processes and outcomes associated with immigrant entrepreneurship? The first essay suggests a theoretical framework which exhibits how the social embeddedness of transnational entrepreneurs (TEs) affects their firm performance through the mediating effect of TEs' dynamic capabilities and the moderating effect of institutional distance between countries of origin and residence. The second essay qualitatively explores similarities and differences of entrepreneurial start-up processes between immigrant and indigenous entrepreneurs. Using data from the Kauffman Firm Survey, the third essay employs the liability of foreignness theoretical framework to empirically examine immigrant start-up processes and outcomes.