Forgotten or not? Home country embeddedness and returnee entrepreneurship

Daomi Lin, Wei Zheng, Jiangyong Lu, Xiaohui Liu, Mike Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
618 Downloads (Pure)


Building on the social network and strategic entrepreneurship literature, we investigate the overall relationship between returnee entrepreneurs’ networks in different periods and locations, domestic resource acquisitions and firm performance. While the labor mobility literature emphasizes the “gone but not forgotten” networks in the prior location of migrants, other studies argue that returnees suffer from a lack of local networks. Our findings show that returnee entrepreneurs are different in the extent of their home country embeddedness while they are overseas, which indicates different degrees of enduring networks in the home countries. The effect of home country embeddedness improves the performance of returnee entrepreneurship via domestic resource acquisition, and this effect could be substituted by pre-overseas local ties and the presence of local top management team (TMT) members. This study extends returnee research by shedding light on the importance of network maintenance in determining whether the home country’s network endures or decays and by highlighting the interactions of ties in the different periods of pre-overseas, during overseas, and after return.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • returnee entrepreneurship
  • home country embeddedness
  • gone but not forgotten
  • resource acquisition


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