Returnee entrepreneurs are individuals who return to their home country to start a new venture after studying or working abroad. Such individuals are argued to be key agents of growth and innovation in emerging economies. Hence, they have attracted interest from policy-makers and scholars. Our work systematically reviews and thematically analyzes the growing but still fragmented research stream on returnee entrepreneurs. Our work identifies, examines and synthesizes this theoretically, methodologically and thematically diverse research stream by inductively categorizing it into themes and thematic areas. Based on the findings, we provide a conceptual mapping of the phenomenon and discuss promising research opportunities that address a range of key questions pertaining to returnee entrepreneurs and their importance in emerging economies. We provide a comprehensive inventory, organization and evaluation of the research stream offering guidance for the design and positioning of future scholarly enquiry in this field. Our detailed discussion of theoretical lenses and research designs also extends to potential contributions to adjacent fields and underlying theories, that is, well beyond the specific domain of returnee entrepreneurship.
Returnee Entrepreneurs provides a systematic and thematic review of research on returnee entrepreneurs. The primary aims are as follows: Firstly, because of the fragmentation and cross-disciplinary examination of the phenomenon, this monograph compiles a repository of research on the phenomenon and traces its emergence and development. Secondly, it identifies main themes to provide a conceptual mapping of the research stream. Thirdly, it identifies avenues for future research and new research approaches. The review presents insights into an important research stream across diverse literatures facilitating the identification of future research opportunities that are of relevance to the broader interest of entrepreneurship, international business, and management research. The main contributions are (a) to take stock of the insights gained so far about the phenomenon of returnee entrepreneurship; (b) to discuss theoretical implications of our conceptual mapping; and (c) to provide guidance for the design and positioning of future contributions to this research stream.