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Bricolage as survival, growth and transformation: the role of patch-working in the social agency of migrant entrepreneurs

Bricolage as survival, growth and transformation: the role of patch-working in the social agency of migrant entrepreneurs
Bricolage as survival, growth and transformation: the role of patch-working in the social agency of migrant entrepreneurs
This article examines the patch-working strategies of migrant entrepreneurs as a form of social agency. ‘Patch-working’ - the reliance on supplementary forms of income to support business activity – is often seen as a means of cushioning the financial vulnerability of small firms. However, the mechanisms and forms that patch-working takes tend to be overlooked. Evidence from 42 west Midlands’ firms shows that, despite the highly constrained operating environment, the exercise of social agency can help to cushion against disadvantage and to rework their current conditions through patch-working. This allows for business growth, and even transformational growth in some cases, rather than sheer survival. Even so, our findings show that the agency of migrant entrepreneurs brings about only minor improvements in revenue and is certainly not capable of fundamentally changing either the nature of the sector or the structure of the labour market in which they are embedded.
1-21
Villares-Varela, Maria
5e63e77d-525f-4196-8be8-e8c7db56eae1
Ram, Monder
259f6820-63d0-480e-b3f6-d55bb6ad8a02
Jones, Trevor
f1a66956-a543-4392-a212-7de88853ce84
Villares-Varela, Maria
5e63e77d-525f-4196-8be8-e8c7db56eae1
Ram, Monder
259f6820-63d0-480e-b3f6-d55bb6ad8a02
Jones, Trevor
f1a66956-a543-4392-a212-7de88853ce84

Villares-Varela, Maria, Ram, Monder and Jones, Trevor (2018) Bricolage as survival, growth and transformation: the role of patch-working in the social agency of migrant entrepreneurs. Work, Employment and Society, 1-21. (doi:10.1177/0950017018768203).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article examines the patch-working strategies of migrant entrepreneurs as a form of social agency. ‘Patch-working’ - the reliance on supplementary forms of income to support business activity – is often seen as a means of cushioning the financial vulnerability of small firms. However, the mechanisms and forms that patch-working takes tend to be overlooked. Evidence from 42 west Midlands’ firms shows that, despite the highly constrained operating environment, the exercise of social agency can help to cushion against disadvantage and to rework their current conditions through patch-working. This allows for business growth, and even transformational growth in some cases, rather than sheer survival. Even so, our findings show that the agency of migrant entrepreneurs brings about only minor improvements in revenue and is certainly not capable of fundamentally changing either the nature of the sector or the structure of the labour market in which they are embedded.

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Bricolage as survival_Final_deanonymised for copyediting_March 2018 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 5 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418370
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418370
PURE UUID: 9139be23-dc27-442b-98fb-f4319c6218bb
ORCID for Maria Villares-Varela: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0137-7104

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Mar 2018 17:30
Last modified: 15 Oct 2019 04:27

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