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Cosmopolitanism and transnational elite entrepreneurial practices: Manifesting the cosmopolitan disposition in a cosmopolitan city

Katerina Nicolopoulou (Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde , Glasgow, UK)
Nada K. Kakabadse (Henley Business School, University of Reading , Henley-on-Thames, UK)
Kanellos Panagiotis Nikolopoulos (Department of Management, Science and Technology, Open Universiteit , Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Jose M. Alcaraz ( Murdoch University , Perth, Australia)
Konstantina Sakellariou (Stanton Chase, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 10 October 2016




The paper aims to focus on the role that cosmopolitanism and, in particular, “the cosmopolitan disposition” (Woodward et al., 2008) plays in the process of entrepreneurial business by transnational business elites in Dubai.


Adopting a relational perspective based on Bourdieu and Wacquant’s (1992) Reflexive Sociology, as well as an inductive design, the authors conducted 30 semi-structured interviews focusing on both expatriates and Emiratis (locals/nationals) who displayed key features of a transnational business elite.


The findings indicate that the cosmopolitan disposition is an asset for transnational business elites when they venture in the context of Dubai.

Research limitations/implications

The findings would have to be further replicated in similar contexts, i.e. other major cities displaying similar cosmopolitan features with Dubai. A theoretical framework that calls for further study of transnational entrepreneurship via the lens of cosmopolitan disposition and Bourdieuan “habitus” is proposed.

Practical implications

The research outlines cosmopolitan skills for a transnational business elite which are required when entrepreneurial ventures are developed in the context of a city like Dubai.

Social implications

Cosmopolitanism and transnational entrepreneurship change cities like Dubai around the world constantly. Therefore, this study aims at achieving a better understanding of these changes and the ways in which they occur.


Studies on transnational entrepreneurship have already adopted Bourdieu’s theory (1977/1986), but this is the first time the cosmopolitan perspective and disposition is researched using this approach.



We would like to thank Stanton Chase International, Dubai for supporting the research study.


Nicolopoulou, K., Kakabadse, N.K., Nikolopoulos, K.P., Alcaraz, J.M. and Sakellariou, K. (2016), "Cosmopolitanism and transnational elite entrepreneurial practices: Manifesting the cosmopolitan disposition in a cosmopolitan city", Society and Business Review, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 257-275.



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