Islam and social media entrepreneurial communications : the case of British Muslim entrepreneurs and their use of social media to identify markets and engage customers

Rashid, S Islam and social media entrepreneurial communications : the case of British Muslim entrepreneurs and their use of social media to identify markets and engage customers , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to explore whether Islamic belief has any influence on social media communication activities of British Muslim entrepreneurs in terms of market identification and customer engagement. Previous academic research has argued that entrepreneurial actions are the outcome of individual characteristics, experiences and having the potential to identify market gaps and effectively utilize business opportunities. However, there is a lack of research on the role of individual beliefs (which form such entrepreneurial characteristics, experiences, and expertise) and its impact on entrepreneur’s ability to identify markets and engage customers. At the same time, ethnic entrepreneurship literature has discussed the role of ethnicity and religion and its influence on entrepreneurial actions. Nevertheless, these academic studies do not consider how the integration of ethnicity, religion and local culture of the host society influence their entrepreneurial actions. Therefore, this study has selected British Muslim entrepreneurs as a context to explore and understand how the integration of religious belief (Islam) and local culture (British) influence their social media communications in terms of market identification and customer engagement. This study has used Effectuation theory as a theoretical underpinning to explore Ethno-religious entrepreneurial beliefs and its interaction with local culture as manifested in their social media communication activities. This is qualitative research and the researcher has conducted 26 in-depth interviews of British Muslim entrepreneurs and utilized thematic analysis approach to interpreting data. The findings indicate that Islamic beliefs and British cultural values provide an ethical and moral framework to participants that influence them in terms of market identification and customer engagement on social media platforms. The findings further indicate that participants identify markets by understanding the changing needs of British Muslim customers who want to consume products in accordance with Islamic beliefs and British culture. The participants use their personal and communal groups on social media and incorporate it with their offline networks to engage consumers. The content they share on these platforms is not limited to their product offerings but also includes uploading personal pictures, quotations, inspirational stories and positive customer reviews based on Islamic beliefs and British cultural values. The participants also share their personal and professional experiences with customers on social media and discuss and debate socio-economic issues related to British Muslims to develop long term relationships. The participants also use social media networks to resolve their communication issues, identify new market opportunities, develop co-marketing activities and seek guidance within the context of business in general and communications in particular. The findings extend Effectuation theory by adding the entrepreneur’s religious beliefs (Islam) and local culture as an important ingredient that influences their ability to identify markets and engage customers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Syed Hayder
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 13:03
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2020 02:30
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/51458

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