The purpose of this study is to examines the pattern of linkage between Korean immigrant business community in the Kansas City area and global forces by focusing on how an immigrant community has transformed and reacted to the global trends of business transaction.
The data on Korean entrepreneurs in the Kansas City area was obtained from the semi-structured and informal interviews with Korean community leaders, Korean businessmen and customers who use Korean grocery markets in the Kansas City area. This study also utilizes documents on Korean and Asian ethnic community and neighborhood relations in news media. It analyzes entrepreneurial strategy and business transactions of Korean immigrant community and its relations to global trends using the Directory of Korean Entrepreneurs of Greater Kansas City Area in different points of time: 1990, 2006 and 2011.
The types of businesses observed in the Directory of Korean Business in Greater Kansas City area have changed significantly over time (see Table I). The number of businesses has increased from 181 in 1990 to 281 in 2006 and 197 in 2011, and the business types became diversified from 29 in 1990 to 38 in 2006 and 36 in 2011. The grocery stores and restaurants in community were adapting to global tends to survive by upscaling and diversifying items and targeting customers. Beauty aid supply business remains solid by maintaining globalized business transactions of purchasing and distribution.
Based on interviews, this study needs to be extended to other Midwestern cities and Chicago, as a global city, to objectively examine the mode of intersection between globalness and ethnic locality within immigrant communities.
This study explores specifically how a transnational community of Korean entrepreneurs in the Kansas City is reacting and adjusting to global trends by probing the strategies of each business segments of grocery store, restaurants and beauty aid supply business.
Shin, K.-H. (2014), "Korean entrepreneurs in Kansas City metropolitan area: An immigrant community under ethnic local and global intersection", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 287-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-11-2013-0034
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