In this paper, the authors suggest that Central Americans can use entrepreneurship to solve economic uncertainty in their home country and that entrepreneurship can contribute to reducing the number of undocumented migrants to the USA.
The authors first illustrate the context of Central American illegal migration to the USA from a transitional entrepreneurship perspective, the authors address the economic drivers of illegal migration from Central America, which results in marginalization in the USA. Second, the authors build a theoretical model that suggests that Central Americans can improve their entrepreneurial abilities through the entrepreneurial cognitive adjustment mechanism.
Central Americans at risk of illegally migrating to the USA have high entrepreneurial aptitudes. Entrepreneurship can help them avoid the economic uncertainty that drives Central Americans to illegally migrate to the USA and become part of a marginalized community of undocumented immigrants. This conceptual paper introduces an entrepreneurial cognitive adjustment mechanism as a tool for Central Americans to reshape their personalities and increase their entrepreneurial abilities in their home countries. In particular, entrepreneurial intentions reshape the personality characteristics of individuals (in terms of high agreeableness and openness to experiences, as well as low neuroticism) through the entrepreneurial cognitive adjustment mechanism, which consists of reflective action in sensemaking, cognitive frameworks in pattern recognition and coping in positive affect.
This paper studies Central Americans at risk of illegal migration using the lens of transitional entrepreneurship, which advances the understanding of the antecedents to marginalized immigrant communities in the USA and suggests a possible solution for this phenomenon. Besides, the authors build a cognitive mechanism to facilitate the transitional process starting from entrepreneurial intention to reshaping individuals' personality, which further opens individuals' minds to entrepreneurial opportunities. Since entrepreneurial intention applies the same way to all entrepreneurs, the authors' aim of constructing the entrepreneurial intention unfolding process will go beyond transitional entrepreneurship and contribute to intention-action knowledge generation (Donaldson et al., 2021). Moreover, the conceptual study contributes to public policy such that international and local agencies can better utilize resources and implement long-term solutions to the drivers of illegal migration from Central America to the USA.
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Arteaga-Fonseca, J., Zhang, Y.(E). and Bylund, P. (2023), "The entrepreneurial cognitive adjustment mechanism: transitional entrepreneurship as a solution to mitigate illegal migration", New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 172-195. https://doi.org/10.1108/NEJE-08-2022-0059