Navigating Cultural Divides via Identity Work: Bulgarian Migrant Entrepreneurs’ Tactics in the UK

Stoyan Stoyanov, Veselina Stoyanova

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The changing geopolitical landscapes and increased migration flow across the world call for a fresh perspective on the sociocultural and economic integration of migrants in their new ‘homes’ and ‘communities’. In this qualitative process study, we provide insight into the identity work dynamics that underlie interfirm cooperation in the new business context. We see a sample of Bulgarian migrant entrepreneurs as knowledge boundary spanners who employ identity work tactics for the development of shared norms and values that facilitate knowledge exchange between their home culture and the UK host culture context. This study suggests that knowledge boundary spanning is enabled by a temporal identity work process, characterized by a series of inward and outward identity work tactics. The interplay between inward and outward identity work tactics occurs over phases of identifying identity differences, adopting identity cues, and finally, realizing hybrid identity. This article contributes to the identity work and migrant entrepreneurship literature by exploring the underlying mechanisms for realizing knowledge boundary spanning by migrant entrepreneurs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Early online date12 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2022


  • entrepreneurship and business strategy
  • identity work tactics
  • migrant entrepreneurs
  • qualitative methods


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