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An examination of entrepreneurial intentions of Arab entrepreneurs in Israel

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

The study of entrepreneurial intentions, in general and of ethnic and/or immigrant communities is a well-developed strand of entrepreneurship research and has a long history (Bates, 2011; Jones, Mascarenhas-Keyes, & Ram, 2012; Jones & Ram, 2013; Kloosterman, 2010; Lofstrom & Bates, 2007; Waldinger, Aldrich, & Ward, 1990). However, the research involving the Arab ethnic minority in Israel and its peripherality is significantly scarce (Mayer & Baumgartner, 2014; Schnell, Greenberg, Arnon, & Shamai, 2015). As a result, we lack understanding of the unique characteristics of peripheral enterprises and of the peripheral entrepreneurial environment in Israel (Schnell et al., 2015). More specifically, there is a lack of comprehensive research in Israel that examines and establishes the antecedents of entrepreneurial intentions of the Arab entrepreneur at the agent level and thus, further studies are required to understand the factors that influence the behaviour of such entrepreneurs (Schnell et al.,2015). Further, despite increased importance of the role of entrepreneurship in the global and local economy, there is a lack of research investigating the extent to which the globalization process affects the entrepreneurial intentions (Freeman, 2013; Soriano & Dobon, 2009). Drawing on previous international literature, and national literature that is primarily macroeconomically focused on the structural embeddedness of the Arab entrepreneurs, this study investigates entrepreneurial intentions1 of the Arab entrepreneurs as the agent both on a macro level (social context) and a micro level (individual characteristics). Further, it attempts to identify the entrepreneurs within GEM typology, namely, necessity vs. opportunity entrepreneurs, and any transitioning effects along this latitude. It also charts the development of the Arab minority in Israel as an ethnic economy and the transformation of entrepreneurial intentions of individuals from within this transitioning economy, in the backdrop of wider globalization trends of the past few decades. This research explores a unique context. It should be noted that the Arab minority in Israel is exceptional in the sense that it is comprised of natives in the minority. As natives invariably constitute a majority of populations in almost all parts of the world, literature on entrepreneurial motivation in native ethnic minorities is scarce, if not non-existent. This work examines if the constructs used in and the insights generated by the prior research on native, ethnic and migrant minorities apply also to a native ethnic minority, and in what ways they are similar and in which aspects they defer, especially considering that the Arab native ethnic minority in Israel is a collectivist society.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date2019


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