Monder Ram

Monder Ram
Aston University · Economics and Strategy Group

Phd

About

166
Publications
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Publications

Publications (166)
Article
Full-text available
The economic and social importance of ethnic minority microbusinesses (‘EMMBs’ with 1–9 employees) is neglected in human resource (HR) academic and policy discourse on productive ways of working. This article presents an action research approach to show how academics and intermediaries (local trusted industry representatives) can collaborate to pro...
Article
This chapter addresses three issues. Firstly, it outlines the paradox of job quality in small firms, namely, low levels of objective aspects such as earnings but high subjective aspects, notably reported autonomy and satisfaction. It explains this paradox in terms of specific effects of size such as face-to-face relationships and correlates of size...
Article
This Handbook offers an interdisciplinary and international benchmark text for anyone wanting to understand job quality. Job quality matters and has long done so. Debate about the future of work today centres on the impact of the new digital technologies, compounding existing concerns about the restructuring of employment and, importantly, prolifer...
Article
This article draws on biographical interviews with migrants to assess their aspirations and capabilities to become entrepreneurs. By augmenting mixed embeddedness’ (Kloosterman, 2010) emphasis on contextual factors with Sen’s capabilities framework, we contribute to extant sociological debates on the interaction of structure and agency, the concept...
Article
This article presents a historical reprise of 40 years of policy interest in ethnic minority businesses in the UK. It contrasts the pronouncements of policymakers with the reality of ethnic minority entrepreneurship. Such an exercise is surprisingly rare given the activism of policymakers in this arena and growing scholarly interest in this field....
Article
Full-text available
Whilst it is acknowledged that refugees are more likely to select into self-employment due to discrimination and labour market exclusion, we know little about how their ventures perform over time. To address this gap, we draw upon qualitative longitudinal evidence gathered in 2010 and 2018 in the UK to explore the outcomes of their ventures and wha...
Chapter
Abstract This paper is motivated by a concern that the proliferation of measures to support migrant businesses across Europe appear to be proceeding without recourse to an increasingly sophisticated and rich literature on the topic. The case of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) – which forms the focus of the paper...
Conference Paper
Raising productivity levels has been a long debated conundrum for policy makers and scholars. Despite micro-businesses, i.e. firms with fewer than 10 employees, representing a significant proportion of the UK economy (Roper & Hart, 2018), little is known about how they motivate and engage their workers in ways that drive productivity. Proponents of...
Article
Full-text available
How do small ‘non‐compliant’ firms (those evading existing regulations) react to further regulatory change? The impact of the National Living Wage in the UK in 2016 is analysed through 22 mostly longitudinal case studies of small non‐compliant firms. The varied responses, endurance of non‐compliance, and blurred and dynamic nature of transitions to...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Call for Papers for a Special Issue about "Concepts and Facets of Entrepreneurial Diversity" in IJEV - Manuscripts due by 31 December, 2019
Article
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 b...
Article
This article, presenting qualitative accounts of Ukrainian business owners, highlights how migrants engage in false self-employment in the UK. Their experiences problematise notions of legality and binary depictions of migrant workers as ‘victims or villains’, demonstrating that migrants see their illegal status as a transient stage before gaining...
Article
How do migrant entrepreneurs contribute to economic development? The growing attention to the contribution that migrants make tends to be skewed towards their economic role. Drawing on interviews with 49 new migrant business owners and 60 workers in the West Midlands, we argue that benefits of diversity should be explored beyond the economic divide...
Article
Full-text available
How, if at all, does financialisation affect small firms that have no direct exposure to capital markets? The paper argues the need to address this lacuna empirically, conceptually and politically. The paper then draws on research from a qualitative longitudinal analysis of UK small businesses in bio business and film and media sectors and identifi...
Article
This reports presents preliminary findings from a joint and co-designed research project by the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) and Ashley Community Housing (ACH) to support migrant entrepreneurs. The project examines the aspirations of prospective and existing business owners in Birmingham and is based on detailed i...
Article
This article assesses recent developments in the research and practice of migrant entrepreneurship by examining the powerful contribution that the perspective of ‘mixed embeddedness’ has provided to this field. We identify key themes emerging from mixed embeddedness, particularly in relation to the role of the institutional and market contexts, and...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess ways in which informality can be understood and reviews an emerging area of management scholarship. The origins and nature of informality are discussed with the aid of two different theoretical tools: “workplace sociology” (WS) and “mixed embeddedness” (ME). Design/methodology/approach The analysis...
Chapter
This chapter reviews key themes in debates on female immigrant entrepreneurship from a global perspective. We focus on the (i) invisibility of gender in the main theoretical approaches to explain ethnic or immigrant entrepreneurship, (ii) the evolution of the female immigrant entrepreneurship sub-field since the mid eighties up to the present, (iii...
Article
Studies of businesses established by migrants to the UK traditionally stressed co-ethnic relationships as economic resources. More recent work identifies a new ethnic economy characterized by migrants’ common experiences, with ethnicity playing less of a role. The present study complements this newer perspective through investigation of the experie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Using the concept of mixed embeddedness and related literatures, this paper examines the interplay of institutional environment, the public procurement and small firm resource contexts influence on strategic choice of small firms to engage or not engage with the public sector market. Empirically the paper draws on interviews with 20 directors of sm...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents an overarching review of the evidence regarding enterprise diversity. It discusses the context of ethnic minorities and women in enterprise and summarises research evidence relating to their relative access to finance, market selection and management skills. Policy within the field of diversity and enterprise is characterised...
Book
Full-text available
Research in entrepreneurship has been booming, with perspectives from a range of disciplines and numerous developing schools of thought. It can be difficult for young scholars and even long-time researchers to find their way through the lush garden of ideas we see before us. The purpose of this book is to map the research terrain of entrepreneursh...
Article
This paper advances the study of ethnic minority entrepreneurship by developing various hitherto implicit and under-theorised elements in the mixed embeddedness model. In the field of ethnic minority business studies, mixed embeddedness is a widely used framework whose main value derives from its strong emphasis upon context, especially its recogni...
Article
This article demonstrates how Swedish support organisations approach and target immigrant entrepreneurs in terms of categorisation and labelling. In their strategic positioning, and as a result of framing and communicating specific target groups for their activities, organisations simultaneously produce and reproduce categories of clients. We argue...
Article
This paper applies the concept of procedural justice to one of the most important focal points of interorganizational relations: the purchaser–supplier relationship. The few extant studies of the concept in the purchaser–supplier domain have overlooked an important aspect of this key relationship: that is, inclusiveness in procurement. This is desp...
Article
Full-text available
How can the phenomenon of new migrant enterprise be explained? The arrival of new migrants to the UK in significant numbers is prompting a new wave of business activity. This expression of ‘super-diversity’ poses challenges for existing modes of theorizing, or so it seems. We venture outside the cosmopolitan metropolis of London to examine the expe...
Article
How can critical social scientists pursue critically engaged research? This question is addressed by examining how an action research intervention, informed by critical realism, was used to assist a business support agency (SUPPAG) to provide support to new migrant business owners. The article responds to calls for more engaged approaches to resear...
Article
Full-text available
Growing population diversity, referred to as ‘super-diversity’, has transformed the UK landscape, yet many areas of social science and policy appear reluctant to engage with the phenomenon. This article examines the ‘research–policy’ nexus as it applies one area of super-diversity: that is, businesses run by new migrants. Based on a year-long colla...
Article
This paper fills an important gap in the human resource development (HRD) literature by considering the role that NGO intermediation initiatives can play in bringing together and developing corporate procurement officials (CPOs) and ethnic minority business owner-managers (EMBOs) supplying goods and services. It has been suggested that such initiat...
Article
Full-text available
How far does new migrant enterprise represent a departure from traditional ethnic minority entrepreneurship in the UK? This paper draws on a qualitative survey of 165 new migrants in the UK to address this question. New migrants to the UK are emblematic of ‘super-diversity’, which some believe heralds a significant departure from previous forms of...
Article
The trend to imbue action learning with an explicit conception of criticality appears to be gathering momentum. The idea of critical action learning (CAL) foregrounds the connection between power, emotion and organizing. How this triumvirate of forces relate to each other fundamentally shapes the scope for learning. Theoretical and empirical assess...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on the concepts of ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘dynamic’ capabilities, this study examines the capabilities that allow small firms to operate as suppliers to large organizations in the public and private sectors. Interest in this topic is fuelled by academic speculation about the extent to which such supply chain relationships can facilitate the...
Article
We examine the challenges and developments relating to the support of ethnic minority businesses (EMBs). The challenges pertain to the distinctiveness of business support needs, the ‘mainstreaming’ of EMB support, and the dynamics of delivery. An ‘engaged scholarship’ approach is adopted, on the basis of an examination of business support providers...
Article
The Indian community in the UK is exemplifying an ‘ethnic entrepreneurial transition’. Impressive educational credentials, an increasing presence in the professions and diversification into new and emerging sectors are gradually changing the profile of Indian entrepreneurship. This paper reports on the growing convergence of Indian self-employment...
Article
This article examines the experiences of small ethnic minority-owned businesses (EMBs) engaged in supply chain relationships with large purchasing organizations (LPOs). Working with the complementary frameworks of Edwards et al. (2006) and Kloosterman et al. (1999), we assess the effects on the internal dynamics of EMB firms of a move into the LPO...
Article
Full-text available
This paper builds upon a series of studies that have identified the comparatively low uptake of ICT amongst EMBs (Ram and Smallbone, 1999; Foley and Ram 2002; Allinson et al., 2004). Existing studies have only tentatively considered the causal factors for this lower adoption rate in comparison to non-EMBs. Within the context of a pilot study, aimin...
Article
Ethnography has gained increasing acceptance as a valuable means of analysing the dynamic nature of life in small enterprises. This paper focuses on the process of ‘exchange’ between researcher and researched, which emerged as a key issue in a year-long ethnographic investigation of employment relations in three small firms. ‘Exchange’ has connotat...
Article
This paper examines the management of employee relations in South Asian firms in the UK independent restaurant sector. Key working practices pertaining to the employment relationship are examined in a particular socio-economic and spatial context. Acknowledging such contexts facilitates an appreciation of how ethnicity and employment relations inte...
Article
The extant literature on the phenomenon of transnational entrepreneurship has documented that in an era characterized by 'superdiversity', ethnic minorities use their diasporic networks to access an array of valuable resources in order to facilitate entrepreneurial activity. The article examines the connection between the notions of 'superdiversity...
Article
This article presents a conceptual and empirical synthesis of ‘critical action learning’ (CAL) and ‘policy learning’ (PL). We pursue this undertaking by reflecting upon a five-year inquiry into an initiative that aimed to provide business support to an action learning set comprising eight African-Caribbean entrepreneurs. CAL and PL share commitment...
Article
Consistent with a growing recognition that all entrepreneurs irrespective of ethnicity are grounded in social capital, we argue that the deployment of labour in UK Asian firms is best understood by reference to the mainstream literature on small firm industrial relations. Conventionally, Asian firm owners are seen as enjoying exceptional advantages...
Article
A small but growing strand of literature is beginning to make the case for ‘critical action learning' (CAL). Much of this interest operates on theoretical terrain, speculating on the extent to which it might differ from more conventional notions of action learning. This paper draws on insights from (CAL) to demonstrate the importance of being ‘crit...
Article
What form is small business activity taking among new migrants in the UK? This question is addressed by examining the case of Somalis in the English city of Leicester.We apply a novel synthesis of the Nee and Sanders' (2001) `forms of capital' model with the `mixed embeddedness' approach (Rath, 2000) to enterprises established by newly arrived immi...
Article
In recent years there have been important academic and policy-related developments in the field of ethnic-minority entrepreneurship in the UK. It is a subject that is marked by increasing theoretical sophistication and activity on the part of policy makers and practitioners. We investigate the principal theoretical and policy developments in UK res...
Chapter
Full-text available
Supplier diversity initiatives can function as platforms for EMSs strategic learning (Theodorakopoulos et al., 2005; Theodorakopoulos & Ram, 2006) and the scant research in supplier diversity underscores the importance of relationship factors to the success of supplier diversity/development programmes (e.g. Pearson et al., 1993). However, purchaser...
Article
What drives organisations to engage in socially responsible purchasing initiatives? To investigate this important question, this article uses a case-study approach to examine the context within which supplier diversity programmes have emerged in both the U.S. and U.K. The analysis identifies legislative and policy developments, economic imperatives...
Article
So rapidly have ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) multiplied in the United Kingdom over the past four decades that they now number over a quarter of a million and are regarded as signi-ficant contributors to the nation's small business population. Such impressive growth has been facilitated by a deregulated economic policy regime and further booste...
Article
There has been a flurry of interest from academics and policy-makers alike in the growing phenomenon of ethnic minority entrepreneurship. Despite theoretical advances, there is a lingering tendency to isolate ethnic minority enterprise from the context in which it operates. This article argues for a re-embedding of ethnic minority owned firms in a...
Article
This article draws on the policy transfer literature to examine a UK-based initiative to promote supplier diversity and provides insights into three areas neglected in current research, namely: the dynamics of non-governmental policy transfer; the factors that mediate policy transfer in different jurisdictions; and the integration of research and p...
Article
Why does a universal labor law, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in the United Kingdom, have little effect on firms operating in the informal economy? In explaining this particular empirical puzzle, the authors go beyond dominant accounts of the informal economy—the neo-liberal and the marginalization theses—to develop analysis based on the negotiat...
Article
Prompted by the recent discovery that ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) are not utilising information and communication technology (ICT) to the same degree as are other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), policymakers have become interested in the promotion of ICT amongst EMBs. The authors assess a pilot initiative sponsored by the Departmen...
Article
Encouraging ethnic minorities to engage in a 'culture of enterprise' is a feature of New Labour's small-firm policy agenda. One manifestation of this is the increased activity on the part of 'ethnic brokers' involved in enterprise support. These developments appear to be detached from discussions in sociological circles alluding to the relational a...
Article
Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the influence of the national minimum wage (NMW) in the UK to small business owners operating in the informal economy. Design/methodology/approach – Using the clothing and restaurant sectors as a context, the responses of ethnic minority employers operating in the informal economy are examined in the light of m...
Article
Small firms operating in competitive conditions are often assumed to follow the dictates of the market. Existing institutionalist research shows that they are in fact embedded in networks and thus shaped by social institutions. It does not, however, show how different types of firm are embedded in different ways. A formal framework is thus develope...
Article
Within the limited, but growing, literature on small business ethics almost no attention has been paid to the issue of social responsibility within ethnic minority businesses. Using a social capital perspective, this paper reports on an exploratory and qualitative investigation into the attitudinal and behavioural manifestations of CSR within small...
Article
How do small low-wage firms continue to survive on the margins of a modern economy? Continuous restructuring provides a set of spaces but what sorts of firm occupy them and how far do these firms exercise active choice? Four research projects, embracing data on 123 firms, have offered empirical analysis. The present paper draws together these proje...
Article
Based on detailed case histories of South Asian workers and their co-ethnic employers in the West Midlands clothing and catering industries, this paper examines the use of illegal immigrant labour in small ethnic minority firms and attempts to tease out its implications for the migrants themselves, their employers and the broader national interest....
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the rationale for supplier diversity, constituent elements of each case study programme, actual performance of the initiatives and key challenges involved in implementing supplier diversity programmes. Design/methodology/approach – This paper goes beyond armchair accounts of the “American experi...
Article
Notions of social inclusion and the need to combat social exclusion have become popular areas of attention in academic and policy circles. The importance of small firms and entrepreneurship as a means to raising inclusion has been emphasized in these new agendas. A priori, there are a number of reasons why small businesses may be regarded as provid...
Article
This paper reports on an innovative UK-based ‘Supply Chain Learning’ (SCL) initiative to encourage the corporate sector to consider supplier diversity in respect of ethnic minority businesses. This follows academic and policy interest in programmes to empower ethnic minority enterprises to achieve breakout to mainstream markets and business growth....
Article
The role of human resource management practices in promoting the performance of firms is widely debated. Yet much of the debate has reached an impasse, with uncertain results as to which practices in fact work and why. It has, moreover, rarely gone beyond the context of large firms. This paper offers a different approach to small firms. It draws on...
Article
In this issue of the Policy Review Section , Alan Williams, Gareth Shaw and Martin Huber of the Department of Geography, University of Exeter, examine the extent to which local authorities in the UK are utilizing the promotion of the arts in their local economic development strategies. They consider in particular whether there are any systematic re...
Article
Business rhetoric and conventional theory expect that employment regulations will have negative effects on small firms. Prior research has shown that effects are quite rare, but has not explained why. Case studies of 18 firms from three sectors identified four explanations. (1) Perceptions of effects tend to be broad and general, rather than reflec...
Chapter
This chapter examines ethnic-minority enterprises in inner cities in England, focusing on the independent restaurant sector in Birmingham. It discusses the salient theoretical and empirical issues in the field of ethnic-minority entrepreneurship, and addresses the problem of market saturation, which is the most important problem faced by restaurate...
Chapter
This book provides a review of the findings of the largest ever programme of cities research in the UK, the 'Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion programme'. Leading experts present the findings of this wide-ranging programme organised around themes of competitiveness, social cohesion and the role of policy and governance.
Article
The case-study method has a long and respected history in the mainstream management literature. The philosophy and implications of the case-study method have received considerable attention and there are a number of standard texts on the approach. The method is also gaining acceptance, along with other qualitative methods, within the small business...
Book
The majority of employees currently working in the private sector are now employed in small firms, yet little is known about their working conditions. This collection of essays addresses this gap. Based on theoretical analysis supported by contemporary empirical evidence, the book explores key areas of the employment relationship adding a new persp...