Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship

Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship

The Role of Resources and Capabilities

The Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices series

Edited by Pramodita Sharma, Philipp Sieger, Robert S. Nason, Ana Cristina Gonzalez L. and Kavil Ramachandran

Transgenerational entrepreneurship, as a discipline, examines the processes, resources and capabilities that allow family enterprises to create social and economic value over time in order to succeed beyond the first generation of business owners. While tangible resources such as financial and physical capital are certainly important factors in the long-term success of a family-run business, this book focuses specifically on the role of intangible resources and capabilities, which are less easily quantifiable but equally vital.

Chapter 1: Introduction: exploring transgenerational entrepreneurship: the role of intangible resources

Robert S. Nason, Ana Cristina González L. and Pramodita Sharma

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business


Families are engines of economic activity around the world. In many cases their economic impact lasts for centuries and generations. This phenomenon is referred to as transgenerational entrepreneurship (TE) and is defined as the processes, resources and capabilities used by an enterprising family to create financial and socio-emotional value across generations (cf., Habbershon et al., 2010). TE shifts the level of analysis to the family. It examines how the longevity of family enterprises extends beyond the life cycle of any individual operating entity (Zellweger et al., 2013). As Penrose highlights in her seminal work, Theory of the Growth of the Firm (1959), the nature of the firm’s resources impacts its ability to innovate as new value creation comes from the novel combination of different types of resources. The aim of this book is to understand how successful enterprising families in different contexts build and exploit resources and capabilities to create entrepreneurial ventures across generations.