Emotional Intelligence and Immigrant Entrepreneurship Development: A Correlation Analysis of the Lebanese Family Entrepreneurships in Nigeria

  • Kenneth Chukwujioke Agbim Business Administration Department, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria
Keywords: Emotional intelligence, Entrepreneurship development, Immigrant entrepreneurship development, Entrepreneurial intention, Entrepreneurial capabilities, Entrepreneurial networking, Entrepreneurial success.


The arrival of the first Lebanese immigrant in Lagos in 1890 has been followed by increase in the number of Lebanese immigrants in Nigeria. The immigrants get attached to their families on arrival. This is owing to the instrumental, financial, psychological and emotional supports they receive from their families to enable them assimilate into the Nigerian community. In spite of their contributions to the economic and infrastructural development of Nigeria through the family-owned immigrant entrepreneurships they have developed, no study seems to have been conducted in this area. Consequently, based on data from selected Lebanese family-owned entrepreneurships, this study examines the relationship between emotional intelligence and immigrant entrepreneurship development. The study adopted mail questionnaire survey design. The generated data through questionnaire were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation. It was found that emotional intelligence is significantly related to the dimensions of immigrant entrepreneurship development, that is, entrepreneurial intention, entrepreneurial capabilities, entrepreneurial networking and entrepreneurial success. Based on the results, the study recommends exposing new immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs to trainings and programs that will improve their emotional intelligence, entrepreneurial behaviour, capabilities, networking attitude and success mindset.  The ultimate effect of these trainings and programs is increase in the development of immigrant entrepreneurships. 


Aaltonen, S. & Akola, E. (2014). Lack of trust –the main obstacle for immigrant entrepreneurship? Turku School of Economics, University of Turku. Retrieved from http://pyk2.aalto.fi/ncsb2012/Aaltonen.pdf on June 30, 2018.
Abdelgawad, S.G., et al. (2013). Strategic leadership and entrepreneurial capability for game change. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 20(4), 394-407.
Adebayo, P. (2003). The Lebanese in Nigeria: The Lebanese and economy of Lagos,1890-1980. University of Ilorin (unpublished Ph.D thesis), Ilorin.
Adebayo, P. (n.d.).Transnational networks of the Lebanese-Nigerian Diaspora. Middle East Institute Viewpoints. Retrieved from www.mei.edu on July 2, 2018.
Agbim, K. C. & Oriarewo, G. O. (2012). Spirituality as correlate of entrepreneurship development. Journal of Research in National Development, 10(3), 154-164.
Agbim, K. C., Owutuamor, Z. B. & Oriarewo, G. O. (2013). Entrepreneurship development and tacit knowledge: Exploring the link between entrepreneurial learning and individual know-how. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(2), 112-129.
Agbim, K. C. (2018). Business network effect on the institutionalization of family businesses in South Eastern Nigeria. Open Journal of Economics and Commerce, 1(1), 1-10.
Ahmetoglu, G., Leutner, F., & Chamorro, T. (2011). EQ-nomics: Understanding the relationship between individual differences in trait emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 1028-1033.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision processes, 50, 179-211.
Aslan, Ş. & Erkuş, A. (2008). Measurement of emotional intelligence: Validity and reliability studies of two scales. World Applied Sciences Journal, 430-438.
Bagwell, S. (2008). Transnational family networks and ethnic minority business development. The case of Vietnamese nail-shops in the UK. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 14, 377-394.
Barba-sanchez, V. & Atienza-Sahuquillo, C. (2010). Integration of the environment in managerial strategy: Application of the resource-based theory of competitive advantage, dynamic capabilities. African Journal of Business Management, 4(6), 1155-1165.
Bar-On, R. (1997). The emotional quotient inventory (EQ-i): Technical manual. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
Baron, R. A. & Markman, G. D. (2000). Beyond social capital: How social skills can enhance entrepreneurs' success. Academy of Management Executive, 14(1), 106-131.
Baron, R. A. (2000). Counterfactual thinning and venture formation: The potential effects of thinking about "what might have been." Journal of Business Venturing, 14(1), 106-116.
Bhattacharyya, A. (2010). The networking entrepreneur. The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 19(2), 209-221.
Bird, B. J. (1989). Entrepreneurial behavior. Glenview: Scott Foreman.
Bøllingtoft, A. (2012). The bottom-up business incubator: Leverage to networking and cooperation practices in a self-generated, entrepreneurial-enabled environment. Technovation, 32, 304-315.
Boyatzis, R., Goleman, D. & Rhee, K. (1998). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI).
Cabanac, M. (2002). What Is Emotion? Behavioural Processes, 60, 69-84.
Caruso, D. R., Mayer, J. D. & Salovey, P. (2002). Relation of an ability measure of emotional intelligence to personality. Journal of Personality Assessment, 306-320.
Chandler, G. & Hanks, S. (1993). Measuring the performance of emerging businesses: A validation study. Journal of Business Venturing, 8, 391-408.
Cheuk, B. (2007). Social networking analysis: Its application to facilitate knowledge transfer. Business Information Review, 24, 170-176.
Chrysostome, E. & Arcand, S. (2009). Survival of necessity immigrant entrepreneurs: An exploratory study. Journal of Comparative International Management, 12(2), 3-29.
Chrysostome, E. & Lin, X. (2010). Immigrant entrepreneurship: Scrutinizing a promising type of business venture. Thunderbird International Business Review, 52(2), 77-82.
Chrysostome, E. (2010). The success factors of necessity immigrant entrepreneurs: In search of a model. Thunderbird International Business Review, 52(2), 137-152.
Collins, J. & Low, A. (2010). Asian female immigrant entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses in Australia. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 22(1), 97-111.
Correa, T., Hinsley, W. A. & Gil de Zúñiga, H. (2010). Who interacts on the Web? The intersection of users' personality and social media use. Computers in Human Behaviour, 26(2), 247-253.
Cote, S., Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P. & Miners, C. T. H. (2010). Emotional intelligence and leadership emergence in small groups. The Leadership Quarterly, 21, 496-508.
Covin, J. G. & Miles, M. P. (1999). Corporate entrepreneurship and the pursuit of competitive advantage. Entrepreneurship Theory Practice, 23(3), 47-64.
Cross, B. & Travaglione, A. (2003). The untold story: Is the entrepreneur of the 21st century defined by emotional intelligence? The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 11(3), 221-228.
Dalhammar, T. (2004). Voices of entrepreneurship and small business- immigrant enterprises in Kista. Retrieved from http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:7559/FULLTEXT01.pdf on February 24, 2018.
Danquah, E. (2015). The effect of emotional intelligence on the financial performance of commercial banks in Ghana: The mediation role of relationship marketing, service quality, customer satisfaction. British Journal of Marketing Studies, 3(2), 8-25.
Dess, G. G. & Robinson, R. B. (1984). Measuring organizational performance in the absence of objective measures: The case of the privately held firm and conglomerate business unit. Strategic Management Journal, 5, 297-312.
Eisenhardt, K. M. & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal, 21(10/11),1105-1121.
Eisenhardt, K. M. & Schoonhoven, K. (1990). Organizational growth: Linking founding team strategy, environment, and growth among U.S. semiconductor ventures, 1978-1988. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 504-529.
Ensign, P. C. & Robinson, N. P. (2011). Entrepreneurs because they are immigrants, or immigrants because they are entrepreneurs? A critical examination of the relationship between the newcomers and the establishment. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 33-53.
Fairlie, R. W. & Lofstrom, M. (2014). Immigration and entrepreneurship, In B. Chiswick & P. Miller (Eds.), Handbook on the Economics of International Immigration. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Fakhreldin, H. & Hattab, H. (2015). The effect of emotional intelligence on the new venture creation of necessity and opportunity-driven Egyptian entrepreneurs. Paper presented at The 2015 International Academic Research Conference, London , December , 7-9.
Farahbod, F., Azadehdel, M., Mofidi, M. K., Shahabi, S., khoshamooz1, H., Pazhouh, L. D., Ghorbaninejad, N. & Shadkam, F. (2013). The relationship between trait emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship attitudes and intentions. Journal of Public Administration and Policy, 5(3), 79-85. doi: 10.5897/JPAPR2013.0242
Feldman, M. S. & Pentland, B. T. (2003). Reconceptualizing organizational routines as a source of flexibility and change. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48, 94-118.
Forret, M. L. & Dougherty, T. W. (2001). Correlates of networking behaviour for managerial and professional employees. Group, Organization and Management, 26(3), 283-311.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: A theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
Goleman, D. (2001). Emotional intelligence: Issues in paradigm building, In C. C. Goleman, The Emotionally Intelligence Workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Greenberg, J. & Baron, R. A. (2008). Behaviour in organizations.
Gupta, A. K. & Govindarajan, V. (1984). Business unit strategy, managerial characteristics, and business unit effectiveness at strategy implementation. Academy of Management Journal, 27, 25-41.
Haber, S. & Reichel, A. (2005). Identifying performance measures of small ventures: The case of the tourism industry. Journal of Small Business Management, 43(3), 257-286.
Hall, R. (1992). The strategic analysis of intangible resources. Strategic Management Journal, 13, 135-144.
Hassan, R. A. & Omar, S. N. B. (2016). The effect of emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial attitude on entrepreneurial intention. Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 5(12), 1-10.
Helfat, C. E. & Peteraf, M. A. (2003). The dynamic resource-based view: Capability lifecycles. Strategic Management Journal, 24(10), 997-1010.
Hisrich, R. D. (2000). Entrepreneurial dimensions: The relationship of individual, venture, and environmental factors to success. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 24(4), 79-80.
Joseph, S. (2006). Civic myths, citizenship and gender in Lebanon, In S. Joseph (Ed.), Gender in the Middle East (p. 116). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
Kahn. S., La Mattina, G., MacGarvie, M. & Ginther, D. K. (2013). “Hobos”, “stars” and immigrant entrepreneurship. Retrieved from http://people.bu.edu/skahn/entrepreneurship_ kahn%20et%20al.pdf on January 15, 2018.
Karimi, P., Kloshani, M. & Bakhshizadeh, A. (2012). A comparative study on emotional intelligence and cognitive between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Management Science Letters, 2(6), 2071-2076.
Kariv, D., Menzies, T. V., Brenner, G. A., et al. (2009). Transnational networking and business performance: Ethnic entrepreneurs in Canada. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 21, 239-264.
Kerr, W. R. & Lincoln, W. F. (2010). The supply side of innovation: H-1B visa reforms and U.S. ethnic invention. Journal of Labour Economics 28(3), 473-508.
Khatoon, N. (2013). The impact of emotional intelligence on the growth of entrepreneurship. International Journal of Business Management & Research, 3(3), 1-8.
Korr, Y. Y., Mahoney, J. T. & Michaels, S. C. (2007). Resources, capabilities and entrepreneurial perceptions. Journal of Management Studies, 44(7), 1178-1212.
Krueger, N. F. J., Reilly, M. D. & Carsrud, A. L. (2000). Competing models of entrepreneurial intention. Journal of Business Venturing, 15, 411-32.
Kuss, D. J. & Griffiths, M. D. (2011). Online social networking and addiction: A review of the psychological literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8, 3528-3552.
Leblang, D., Fitzgerald, J. & Teets, J. (2006). Defying the law of gravity: The political economy of international migration. Department of Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder. Retrieved from http://socsci.colorado.edu/-leblang/Research_files/Defying.pdf. on November 6, 2017.
Lofstrom, M. (2014). Immigrants and entrepreneurship. Public Policy Institute of California, USA, and IZA, Germany. doi: 10.15185/izawol.85
Lv, R. W., Lai, C. & Liu, J. (2015). Entrepreneurial capability scale and new venture performance: The moderating role of entrepreneurship education. National Social Science Foundation of China.
Mayer, J. D. & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In P. Salovey & D. Sluyter (Eds.), Emotional development and emotional intelligence: Implications for educators (pp. 3-31). New York: Basic Books.
Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P. & Caruso, D. R. (2002). MSCEIT user’s manual. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P. & Caruso, D. R. (2004). Target articles: Emotional intelligence theory, findings and implications. Psychological Inquiry, 15(3), 197-215.
Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R. & Sitarenios, G. (2001). Emotional intelligence as a standard intelligence.
McLaughlin, E. B. (2012). An emotional business: The role of emotional intelligence in entrepreneurial success. University of North Texas (unpublished Ph.D thesis), North Texas.
Mortan, R. A., Ripoll, P., Carvalho, C. & Bernal, M. C. (2014). Effects of emotional intelligence on entrepreneurial intention and self-efficacy. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 30, 97-104.
Munkejord, M. C. (2017). Local and transnational networking among female immigrant entrepreneurs in peripheral rural contexts: Perspectives on Russians in Finnmark, Norway. European Urban and Regional Studies, 24(1), 7-20. doi: 10.1177/0969776415587122
Muscanell, N. & Guadagno, R. (2012). Make new friends or keep the old: Gender and personality differences in social networking use. Computers in Human Behaviour, 28, 107-112.
Neiman, G., Hough, H. & Neiwenhuizen, C. (Eds.) (2003). Entrepreneurship: A South African perspective. Pretoria: Van Schaik.
Nikolaou, I. & Tsaousis, I. (2002). Emotional intelligence in the workplace: Exploring its effects on occupational stress and organizational commitment. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 10, 327- 342.
O'Donnell, A. (2004). The nature of networking in small firms. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 7(3), 206-217.
Oliveira, C. R. (2008). Factors that encourage or discourage immigrant’s entrepreneurial behaviour. Proceedings of the European network on Ethnic Minority Business Workshop, Brussels, Belgium, March 5. Retrieved from http//:www.ec.europa.eu/enterprise/newsroom/cf/_getdocument.cfm?doc_id=3311 on April 16, 2018.
Omar, H. (2011). Arab American entrepreneurs in San Antonio, Texas: Motivation for entry into self-employment. Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 4(1), 33-42.
Paoloni, M.,Valeri, M & Paoloni, P. (2017). Immigrant women’s entrepreneurship: Is there a development model in Italy? African Journal of Business Management, 11(15), 357-366. doi: 10.5897/AJBM2017.8342
Petrides, K. V. (2001). A psychometric investigation into the construct of emotional intelligence. University College London (unpublished Ph.D thesis), London.
Pistrui, D., Fahed-Sreih, J., Huang, W. & Welsch, H. (2008). Entrepreneurial led family business development in post-war Lebanon. USASBE 2008 Proceedings.
Plamondon, B. (2004). Economics of Middle East and Africa. Global Insight Report, Lebanon.
Pradhan R. K. & Nath P., (2012), Perception of Entrepreneurial Orientation and Emotional Intelligence: A Study on India’s Future Techno-Managers. Global Business Review, 13(1), 89-108.
Rajan, M. P. (2015). Impact of emotional intelligence on entrepreneurial skills among engineering students. Shanlax International Journal of Management, 2(4), 40-45.
Reijonen, H. (2008). Understanding the small business owner: What they really aim at and how this relates to firm performance. Management Research News, 31(8), 616-629.
Rhee, K. S. & White, R. J. (2007). The emotional intelligence of entrepreneur. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 20, 409-426.
Rothschild, L. & Darr, A. (2005). Technological incubators and the social construction of innovation networks: An Israeli case. Technovation, 25(1), 59-67.
Salovey, P. & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3), 185-211.
Sapienza, H. J., Smith, K. G. & Gannon, M. J. (1988). Using subjective evaluations of performance in small business research. American Journal of Small Business, 13, 45-53.
Siqueira, A. C. O. (2007). Entrepreneurship and ethnicity: The role of human capital and family social capital. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 12(1), 31-46.
Slavnic, Z. (2004). Immigrant and small business research in Sweden: An overview. Themes on Migration and Ethnic Studies.
Slotte-Kock, S. & Coviello, N. (2010). Entrepreneurship research on network processes: A review and ways forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34, 31-57.
Teece, D. J., Pisano, G. & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18, 509-533.
Tengeh, R. K. & Nkem, L. (2017). Sustaining immigrant entrepreneurship in South Africa: The role of informal financial associations. Sustainability, 9, 1396. doi:10.3390/su9081396 www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability
Tengeh, R.K., Ballard, H. & Slabbert, A. (2011). A framework for acquiring the resources vital for the start-up of a business in South Africa: An African immigrant’s perspective. European Journal of Social Science, 23, 262-381.
Tipu, S. & Arain, F. (2011). Managing success factors in entrepreneurial ventures: A behavioural approach. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 17(5), 534-560.
Torres-Coronas, T., Vidal-Blasco, M. & Sánchez, J. D. (2015). The role of emotional intelligence in entrepreneurial networking. Journal of Entrepreneurship: Research & Practice, 1-10. doi: 10.5171/2015.443841
Vinogradov, E. & Isaksen, E. (2008). Survival of new firms owned by natives and immigrants in Norway. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 13(1), 21-38.
Walsh, J. A. & White, J. F. (1981). Small business ratio analysis: A cautionary note to consultants. Journal of Small Business Management, 3, 20-23.
Williams, C.C. (2008). The motives of off-the-books entrepreneurs: Necessity- or opportunity-driven? International Entrepreneurial Management Journal, 5, 203-217.
Winter, S. G. (2003). Understanding dynamic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 24, 991-995.
Wolff, H. & Kim, S. (2012). The relationship between networking behaviours and the Big Five personality dimensions. Career Development International, 17(1), 43-66.
Wong, C. S. & Law, K.S. (2002). Development of an emotional intelligence instrument and an investigation of its relationship with leader and follower performance and attitudes. The Leadership Quarterly, 13, 243-274.
Wong, C. S., Wong, P. M. & Law, K. S. (2007). Evidence of practical utility of Wong's emotional intelligence scale in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 43-60.
Zahra, S. A., Neubaum, D. O. & El-Hagrassey, G. M. (2002). Competitive analysis and new venture performance: Understanding the impact of strategic uncertainty and venture origin. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 2-27.
Zahra, S. A., Sapienza, H. J. & Davidsson, P. (2006). Entrepreneurship and dynamic capabilities: A review, model and research agenda. Journal of Management Studies, 43(4), 917-955.
Zampetakis, L. A., Kafetsios, K., Bouranta, N., Dewett, T. & Moustakis, V. S. (2009). On the relationship between emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 15(6), 595-618. doi:10.1108/13552550910995452
Zeidner, M., Matthews, G. & Roberts, R. D. (2009). What we know about emotional intelligence: How it affects learning, work, relationships, and our mental health. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
How to Cite
Agbim, K. C. (2018). Emotional Intelligence and Immigrant Entrepreneurship Development: A Correlation Analysis of the Lebanese Family Entrepreneurships in Nigeria. International Journal of Small and Medium Enterprises, 1(2), 26-42. https://doi.org/10.46281/ijsmes.v1i2.68
Research Paper/Theoretical Paper/Review Paper/Short Communication Paper