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What counts as an indigenous enterprise? Evidence from Aotearoa New Zealand

Jason Paul Mika (School of Management, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Nicolas Fahey (Nick Fahey and Associates, Wellington, New Zealand)
Joanne Bensemann (School of Management, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 12 June 2019

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019

982

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to indigenous entrepreneurship theory by identifying what constitutes an indigenous enterprise, focussing on Aotearoa New Zealand as a case.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper combines policy (quantitative survey) and academic research (qualitative interviews) to answer the same question, what is an indigenous enterprise in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Findings

The authors found a degree of consistency as to what counts as an indigenous enterprise in the literature (e.g., identity, ownership, values), yet a consensus on a definition of Maori business remains elusive. They also found that an understanding of the indigenous economy and indigenous entrepreneurial policy are impeded because of definitional uncertainties. The authors propose a definition of Maori business which accounts for indigenous ownership, identity, values and well-being.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation is that the literature and research use different definitions of indigenous enterprise, constraining comparative analysis. The next step is to evaluate our definition as a basis for quantifying the population of indigenous enterprises in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Practical implications

The research assists indigenous entrepreneurs to identify, measure and account for their contribution to indigenous self-determination and sustainable development.

Social implications

This research has the potential to reconceptualise indigenous enterprise as a distinct and legitimate alternative institutional theory of the firm.

Originality/value

The research challenges assumptions and knowledge of entrepreneurship policy and practice generally and the understanding of what is the nature and extent of an indigenous firm.

Keywords

Citation

Mika, J.P., Fahey, N. and Bensemann, J. (2019), "What counts as an indigenous enterprise? Evidence from Aotearoa New Zealand", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 372-390. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-12-2018-0102

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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