Ethnic Marketing Theory, Practice and Entrepreneurship
Together with the development of transformative technologies that epitomize globalization, the ongoing movements of people across borders and other socio-economic pressures are creating a fast-changing business environment that is difficult for business to understand, let alone control. Dominant social expectations that immigrants should seek to adopt an assimilationist socialization path towards the host country’s mainstream are contradicted by minority ethnic group resilience. There is no evidence that these groups naturally disappear within the cultural and behavioural contexts of their adopted countries. Since ethnic minority consumers cannot be expected to assimilate, then they maintain some significant degree of unique ethnicity related consumer characteristics that convert into threats and opportunities for business. The inherent socialisation process also provides opportunities for ethnic entrepreneurship and for proliferation of ethnic minority business.
Following from the extensive examination of scholarly perspectives of ethnic marketing theory, there is an acknowledged and marked divide between theoretical exhortations and what is done in practice, a relative oversight of the implications of mixed embedded markets, and a propinquity to overlook the crucial role played by ethnic entrepreneurship and ethnic networks. Opportunity valuations are difficult to enact due to a lack of intelligence about ethnic markets. Variable sentiment about the future of ethnic marketing links to different predictions on how the drivers of globalization will impact on the acculturation paths of ethnic minorities.
Keeping a focus on the ethnic group as the unit of analysis, combining ethnic marketing and ethnic entrepreneurship theories provides intelligence about contemporary ethnic marketing and practice perspectives. The ultimate objective is to reduce the theory-practice divide through the development of a collaborative framework between business and scholars that converts into theory-in-use.