Transnational entrepreneurship has emerged as a form of migrants’ participation in the social, economic, and political lives of both their countries of origin and of residence. Leveraging increasing evidence about migrants’ involvment in transnational social enterprises, we examine the multi-level processes through which organizational legitimacy is molded by transnational entrepreneurs to reflect country-level institutional settings, and how organizational-level legitimacy affects entrepreneurs’ social status. We longitudinally examine the multi-level processes of legitimation in a transnational social enterprise operated by Ghanaian migrants across Italy and Ghana. We analyze secondary and ethnographic data for two years, observing how transnational social enterprises harvest moral and pragmatic legitimacy from the institutional contexts in which they operate. We study how entrepreneurs construe their social status through pragmatic legitimacy obtained from their transnational ventures, and their institutional environments inspired by micro- and meso legitimacy reconfigurations. We discuss theoretical implications for social and transnational entrepreneurship and practical contributions for policymaking.
- social entrepreneurship
- transnational entrepreneurship