ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES IN BUSINESS ACROSS GENERATIONS, CONTEXTS AND CULTURES

CALL FOR PAPERS – Journal of Family Business Management

SPECIAL ISSUE ON: “ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES IN BUSINESS ACROSS GENERATIONS, CONTEXTS AND CULTURES”

Guest Editors:

Albert James, Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University, Canada

Elias Hadjielias, University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus

Maribel Guerrero, Northumbria University, UK

Allan Discua Cruz, Lancaster University Management School, UK

Rodrigo Basco, American University of Sharjah, Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business, UAE

Families in business are an essential component of the socioeconomic landscape of towns, cities and regions around the world (Basco & Bartkeviciute, 2016; Guerrero et al., 2013; Howorth, Rose, Hamilton, & Westhead, 2010; Seaman, 2015). Entrepreneurial families in business can be broadly interpreted as a phenomenon where several members of a family create and develop one or more business enterprises over time (Hamilton, Discua Cruz, & Jack, 2017; Nordqvist & Melin, 2010). Our understanding of families in business to date is supported by the acknowledgement that entrepreneurship is inextricably linked to family (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003; Heck et al., 2006; Olson et al., 2003; Williams, Zorn, Russell Crook, & Combs, 2013). However, context and time have been scarcely integrated to frame the study of entrepreneurial families in business.

Time is a dimension that affects individual behavior and, consequently, those institutions, such as family and business, in which they are embedded. The objective interpretation of time, as a linear and regular pattern which is irreversible, could be used to explore and explain the start-up, development and exit of entrepreneurial economic activities of families (Drakopoulou Dodd, Anderson, & Jack, 2013) which may impact on management complexity, portfolios or spin offs and further entrepreneurial activities. Time is important because of its subjective intepretation, grounded on the meaning that cultures associate to it (Ancona, Okhuysen, & Perlow, 2001), which may alter the interpretation of the entrepreneurship phenomenon itself as well as the perception and subsequent entrepreneurial behaviour across cultures at the individual, group, and firm level. Scholars are called to understand the dynamics that motivate a family to keep a busines under family control over time (Tucker, 2011) often developing tailored managerial forms of control (Botero, Gomez Betancourt, Betancourt Ramirez, & Lopez Vergara, 2015), often challenging long standing ideologies within their firms (Johannisson & Huse, 2000). Similarly scholars are called to understant the effect of entrepreneurship on families and the desire to maintain control of their business (Jennings, Breitkreuz, & James, 2013).

Context is what is beyond the phenomenon itself, and the demarcation between them is composed of both a physical and cognitive aspects (Basco, 2015). While context has traditionally represented the formal and informal institutions that shape the phenomenon of entrepreneurial families in business (North, 1990; Scott, 1995), recent work suggests that there are multiple and overlapping embedded contexts (Basco, 2017), which may influence the practice of entrepreneurship in entrepreneurial families in business (Welter, 2011). Recently, in a study of a rural cooperative comprised of family businesses, Hadjielias & Poutziouris (2015) explored the dynamics bringing together families in business from diffferent business contexts. Their findings underscore that context is important for entrepreneurial families to engage in entrepreneurial activities collectively. Contexts such as industrial districts (Johannisson et al., 2007) and entrepreneurial environments (Guerrero et al., 2013), as well as endogenous, exogenous and temporal aspects (Wright, Chrisman, Chua, & Steier, 2014) merit close attention. Further studies around context and its physical/cognitive as well as formal/informal demarcations can help develop theories of entrepreneurial families in business and contextualise the phenomenon.

A focus on entrepreneurial families in business underscores a family perspective on entrepreneurship by considering three levels of analysis: individual, group and firm (Discua Cruz & Basco, 2017). Each level calls for interdisciplinary studies with different dimensions and relationships to be explored through time and within contexts. For example, at the individual level, the influence of family in entrepreneurship has been discussed by Aldrich and Cliff (2003) (2003), yet more work is needed to unpack how family dynamics influence the initial steps in an entrepreneurial process in particular contexts and time. Further works at the group level approach could help contextualize the interactions of family members as building blocks for creating collective rules, patterns, goals and expectations that influence a family group/team dynamics when creating or pursuing business opportunities (Discua Cruz, Hadjielias, & Howorth, 2017; Discua Cruz, Howorth, & Hamilton, 2013). Finally, at firm level, the interaction between family firm and corporate entrepreneurship needs more research in order to better understand the cross-family and cross-cultural differences that may affect corporate venturing, renewal strategies, and innovation.

In theorizing entrepreneurial families in business around time and context we attempt to advance our understanding around recent calls to explore further the link between family, context, time and entrepreneurship (Drakopoulou Dodd et al., 2013; Randerson, Bettinelli, Dosena, & Fayolle, 2015; Seaman, 2015; Welter, 2011). Thus, a special focus on generations, context, and culture for studying entrepreneurial families in business around the world is warranted. To advance understanding around entrepreneurial families in business this special issue aims to consider conceptual, qualitative and quantitative empirical studies from around the world. Theoretical and conceptual research contributions are also welcomed. As the study of entrepreneurial families in business is multidisciplinary, we encourage cross-disciplinary approaches to advance our understanding. Questions and themes that can be submitted and developed for this special issue include, yet are not limited to:

Entrepreneurial families in business

  • What are the entrepreneurial features of families in business?
  • How do entrepreneurial families in business influence a transgenerational entrepreneurship behavior?
  • What kind of family identities and goals do entrepreneurial families embrace?
  • How does the entrepreneurial behaviour of families in business influence firm performance?
  • How and why do entrepreneurial families in business engage in habitual entrepreneurship behaviour?
  • Why do certain entrepreneurial families in business prefer to cooperate with other families in business?

Time

  • How does family life cycles influence entrepreneurial families in business?
  • How business life and product life cycle affect entrepreneurial families in business?
  • How and why some families in business are more entrepreneurial than others?
  • What kind of cognitive processes do entrepreneurial families develop in order to discover and exploit opportuities?
  • How do families in business develop and sustain entrepreneurial opportunities across generations?
  • How does the perception of time by entrepreneurial families affect the dimensions of firm entrepreneurial behavior?
  • How do entrepreneurial families in business address succession processes in family business?
  • How do entrepreneurial families in business influence local, regional institutions over time?
  • How does family life-cycle affect a family’s entrepreneurial activity?

Context

  • Do features of entrepreneurial families in business vary across cultures? What kind of feature differences in terms of managerial philosophy, identities, and family goals can we find across cultures?
  • Is there any link between entrepreneurial institutions and entrepreneurial families?
  • To what extent do particular contextual dimensions (e.g formal/informal, physical/cognitive) affect entrepreneurial families?
  • What are the origins and evolution of entrepreneurial families in business families across contexts?
  • What do concepts of what family is (extent, membership, responsibilities, relationships, etc.) mean for family entrepreneurial activity?
  • How do cooperatives become contexts for the collective practice of entrepreneurship between families in business?

We invite submissions to a special issue of Journal of Family Business Management around the topic of “Entrepreneurial families in business across generations, contexts and cultures”. All papers will be subject to the usual review process and must meet the publication standards of the journal.

This special issue is a collaboration with Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC), which will be hold in Mexico in June 2018: Family Traditions & Culture: Values and legacy in Entrepreneurial Families.

Additional Information

Authors should follow the guidelines as stated in the Information for Contributors of Manuscripts. Manuscripts should be submitted to https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jfbm no later than September 15, 2018. Authors should indicate “Special Issue” as the manuscript type and should specify that the submission is for the special issue on “ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES IN BUSINESS ACROSS GENERATIONS AND CULTURES” in their cover letter. Please contact Albert James (Albert.James@Dal.Ca), Elias Hadjielias (ehadjielias@uclan.ac.uk), Maribel Guerrero (maribel.guerrero@northumbria.ac.uk), Allan Discua Cruz (a.discuacruz@lancaster.ac.uk), Rodrigo Basco (bascorodrigo@gmail.com) if you have any questions about the special issue.

 

REFERENCES

Aldrich, H. E., & Cliff, J. E. (2003). The pervasive effects of family on entrepreneurship: toward a family embeddedness perspective. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(5), 573–596.

Ancona, D. G., Okhuysen, G. A., & Perlow, L. A. (2001). Taking Time to Integrate Temporal Research. The Academy of Management Review, 26(4), 512–529.

Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional development-A theoretical model of regional familiness. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 259–271.

Basco, R. (2017). Epilogue: Multiple embeddedness contexts for entrepreneurship. In M. Ramírez-Pasillas, E. Brundin, & M. Markowska (Eds.), Contextualizing Entrepreneurship in developing and emerging economies (pp. 329–336). London: Edward Edgar.

Basco, R., & Bartkeviciute, I. (2016). Is there any room form family business into European Union 2020 Strategy? Family business and regional public policy. Local Economy, 31(6), 709–732.

Botero, I. C., Gomez Betancourt, G., Betancourt Ramirez, J. B., & Lopez Vergara, M. P. (2015). Family protocols as governance tools: Understanding why and how family protocols are important in family firms. Journal of Family Business Management, 5(2), 218–237.

Discua Cruz, A., & Basco, R. (2017). A family perspective on Entrepreneurship. In N. Turcan R & Fraser (Ed.), A Handbook of Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Entrepreneurship (p. forthcoming). Palgrave.

Discua Cruz, A., Hadjielias, E., & Howorth, C. (2017). Family entrepreneurial teams. In C. Ben-hafaiedh & T. Cooney (Eds.), Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Teams: Theory and Practice (C. Ben-Haf). UK: Edward Edgar.

Discua Cruz, A., Howorth, C., & Hamilton, E. (2013). Intrafamily Entrepreneurship: The Formation and Membership of Family Entrepreneurial Teams. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(1), 17–46.

Drakopoulou Dodd, S., Anderson, A., & Jack, S. (2013). Being in time and the family owned firm. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29(1), 35–47.

Guerrero, M., Peña-Legazkue, I., Marshall, A., Gras, G., Mira, I., & Coduras, A. (2013). Entrepreneurial activity and regional development: an introduction to this special issue. Investigaciones Regionales, 26, 5–15.

Hadjielias, E., & Poutziouris, P. (2015). On the conditions for the cooperative relations between family businesses: the role of trust. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 21(6), 867–897.

Hamilton, E., Discua Cruz, A., & Jack, S. (2017). Re-framing the status of narrative in family business research: Towards an understanding of families in business. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 8(1), 3–12.

Heck, R., Danes, S., Fitzgerald, M. A., Haynes, G., Jasper, C., Schrank, H., … Winter, M. (2006). The family’s dynamic role within family business entrepreneurship. In P. Poutziouris, K. Smyrnios, & S. Klein (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Family Business (pp. 80–124). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Howorth, C., Rose, M., Hamilton, E., & Westhead, P. (2010). Family firm diversity and development: An introduction. International Small Business Journal, 28(5), 437–451.

Jennings, J. E., Breitkreuz, R. S., & James, A. E. (2013). When Family Members Are Also Business Owners: Is Entrepreneurship Good for Families? Family Relations, 62(3), 472–489.

Johannisson, B., Caffarena, L. C., Cruz, A. F. D., Epure, M., Pérez, E. H., Kapelko, M., … Bisignano, A. (2007). Interstanding the industrial district: contrasting conceptual images as a road to insight. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 19(6), 527–554.

Johannisson, B., & Huse, M. (2000). Recruiting outside board members in the small family business: an ideological challenge. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 12(4), 353–378.

Nordqvist, M., & Melin, L. (2010). Entrepreneurial families and family firms. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 22(3–4), 211–239.

North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge university press.

Olson, P. D., Zuiker, V. S., Danes, S. M., Stafford, K., Heck, R. K. Z., & Duncan, K. A. (2003). The impact of the family and the business on family business sustainability. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(5), 639–666.

Randerson, K., Bettinelli, C., Dosena, C., & Fayolle, A. (2015). Family Entrepreneurship: Rethinking the research agenda. NY: Routledge.

Scott, W. R. (1995). Institutions and organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Seaman, C. (2015). Creating space for the business family: Networks, social capital & family businesses in rural development. Journal of Family Business Management, 5(2), 182–191.

Tucker, J. (2011). Keeping the business in the family and the family in business: “What is the legacy?” Journal of Family Business Management, 1(1), 65–73.

Welter, F. (2011). Contextualizing Entrepreneurship-Conceptual Challenges and Ways Forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 165–184.

Williams, D. W., Zorn, M. L., Russell Crook, T., & Combs, J. G. (2013). Passing the Torch: Factors Influencing Transgenerational Intent in Family Firms. Family Relations, 62(3), 415–428.

Wright, M., Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2014). Family Enterprise and Context. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(6), 1247–1260.

 

 

An issue of ‘Gender’ in Family Business

By Rodrigo Basco, Ph.D.

I thought I could share some thoughts about the role of women in family business succession. This is not only a complicated issue to discuss, but also a delicate one, since it may slide into sensitive territory. In fact, it is a topic that must be understood in the specific cultural and historical context.

I will make myself clear …

Tony Buddenbrooks would not be considered as the successor of her family business company ‘House Buddenbrook’ (in T.Mann novel). This restriction cannot be judged as good or bad, we should try to understand women’s role in the specific context like 19th century in Germany. But we shouldn’t look so long ago: even 40 years ago a father would not think of his daughter as a potential successor to the family business. Although this may seem absurd to us, women are not regarded as likely candidates to take up business leadership in many countries-cultures.

A while ago I heard a businessman said: ‘My daughters are too dumb to take any position in the company’, even when his daughters seemed to show more entrepreneurial spirit than their father. I thought ‘if this businessman had a son, he would say ‘my son is the perfect candidate to succeed me – but after my death –of course’, even if the child were a “spoiled kid with a cool pick-up truck”. In contrast, in a context with Anglo-Saxon roots, I heard an entrepreneur names his youngest daughter as his future successor because she had shown charisma and preparation to face the challenge to consolidate the firm around all family branches making up the capital.

These examples illustrate the extremes about how women can be considered in the family business (the reader can imagine multiple grey areas in between). But it is undeniable that the role of women as future leaders or successors in a firm depends on the family that owns and manages the firm. Family values are the reflection of what their members consider as the right status of women within family firm, i.e. allowing women to be part of the firm or not. I do not wish to criticize or praise the ways women are considered in the family and the business context. The above mentioned examples show the extreme positions that allow us to understand gender issues.

Even though we are on the way to build equal culture in the twenty-first century, the succession of the family firm is led by founders-successors who have created or taken command of the firm in the 1970s and 80s and who still perpetuate the idea that ‘a woman cannot take the leadership of the firm’ or have some favouritism to male heirs. There is a clear paradox in companies with these features: a culture within the firm (male chauvinist position) and another culture outside the firm (gender equality). These contrasting situations are likely to create problems sooner or later.

For example, a problem arises when the woman or women in the family are aware that they have been removed from the ownership and management of the firm, which in turn has been distributed among male heirs. These women are likely to believe that this situation is demeaning and causes not only economic but also moral injustice. This, in turn, may result in a wide gap between the different perceptions of reality in the members of the family, causing friction and emotional distance.

While one group in the family takes cultural tradition as a given fact (men inside) and avoids recognizing that cultural and affective circumstances have changed (because that would also mean sharing power and ownership with women), the other group (women) ends up feeling injustice and inequity. It is a difficult situation to deal with, but it a circumstance that transitional societies should handle: women need to realize that the role they play is not as mere spectators of what men decide in the family firm context, but as active participants in economic and business decisions, despite the fact that it could take a long time and effort to persuade other family members to accept the situation as customary and inevitable.

We cannot change the past but we can change the future. Families who are immersed in such a dynamic should reprogram the way their members interact and how they communicate with each other. Communication is the element that the family and the business systems use to reproduce themselves. In order to have changes, we need to face the past and set the new values that should prevail in the future. Without communication there is no understanding, and without understanding the only possible ending is the disintegration of the family or the family branches and, of course, the firm.

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