Non-Ethnic Inventor Sourcing of Immigrant Knowledge: The Role of Social Communities

Larissa Rabbiosi, Francesco Di Lorenzo*, Anupama Phene, Paul Almeida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Immigrant inventors have been important for fostering innovation in their host economies and several studies have examined the role of knowledge flows within ethnic communities. We study the part played by immigrant inventors by exploring the influence of ethnic Indian inventors in the U.S. on their non-Indian peers. We draw on social identity and categorization theories and hypothesize that exposure of non-Indian inventors to Indians in different social communities facilitates knowledge flows across ethnicities. We examine participation in the organizational, technological, and geographic communities. We test our predictions using patent data, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security statistics on Indian immigrants. Our results support the idea that non-Indian inventors source knowledge from Indian immigrant inventors. We find that the extent of this knowledge sourcing is influenced positively by the increased presence of Indian inventors in organizational and technological communities, and the presence of outstanding and skilled Indian workers and family members in geographic communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Global Migration in International Business
EditorsAudra I. Mockaitis
Number of pages29
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9783031388859
ISBN (Electronic)9783031388866
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Global migration
  • Immigrant inventors
  • Ethnic communities
  • Social communities
  • Knowledge flows
  • Knowledge sourcing
  • Non-ethnic inventors
  • Indians

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