This paper aims to come to abetter understanding of the meaning of ‘ethnic’ in ethnic entrepreneurship for second- and third-generation ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in Bangkok, Thailand. Research on ethnic Chinese entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia typically investigates the dominance, attributed to specific ‘Chinese’ cultural values and strong intra-ethnic networks, of the ethnic Chinese in business and entrepreneurship. Our research among second- and third-generations shows an inclination of the interviewees to emphasize the irrelevance of their ‘ethnic’ Chinese back- ground in entrepreneurship. To understand the meanings of the expressed irrelevance, we argue that it is constructive to incorporate ahistorical/ generational approach of the ethnic group (migration history, nationalism) and of the business (social organization) into the study of ethnic entrepreneurship. The contribution to ethnic entrepreneurship research is threefold. Firstly, we show how agenerational lens provides amore nuanced understanding of the ‘ethnic’ in ethnic entrepreneurship. Secondly, we show how incorporating the historical context helps to position business conduct in the social/societal experiences of entrepreneurs. Finally, our case study of ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in Thailand brings an Asian perspective to ethnic entrepreneurship debates that generally concern European and North American research studies and thus hopes to inspire future comparative research.
|Title of host publication||Asian Entrepreneurship|
|Editors||Leo Paul Dana|
|Place of Publication||Los Angeles and London|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|