Table of Contents

Firms within Families

Firms within Families

Enterprising in Diverse Country Contexts

Edited by Jennifer E. Jennings, Kimberly A. Eddleston, P. Devereaux Jennings and Ravi Sarathy

Firms within Families: Enterprising in Diverse Country Contexts investigates this ‘double embeddedness’ of business ownership and management through two illuminating sets of empirical studies. Part I focuses upon the family-oriented goal of socio-emotional wealth and its association with a firm’s strategic orientations, strategies and performance. Part II examines strategies and experiences at the work–family interface and their implications for an owner-manager’s psychological well-being. Both parts feature diverse studies from the United States, Switzerland/Germany, China, Brazil, and India.

Chapter 1: Introduction: a framework for studying the ‘double embeddedness’ of business enterprising

Jennifer E. Jennings, Kimberly A. Eddleston, P. Devereaux Jennings and Ravi Sarathy

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, strategic management


Over a decade ago, Aldrich and Cliff (2003) called for a ‘family embeddedness’ perspective on entrepreneurship research, urging scholars to consider how family-related factors impact—and are impacted by—venture creation processes and outcomes (see also Rogoff and Heck, 2003). As noted by Sharma, Melin, and Nordqvist (2014), the reciprocal influence of family and business has been of even longer-standing interest within the family enterprise literature, arguably constituting the field’s distinctive focus. While research in both areas has progressed rapidly, knowledge of the myriad ways in which the families and firms of owner-managers affect one another is far from complete. In the entrepreneurship literature, empirical studies consistent with the family embeddedness perspective remain relatively rare (for examples see Eddleston and Powell, 2012; Gras and Nason, forthcoming; Powell and Eddleston, 2013; Zellweger, Sieger, and Halter, 2011). And even in recent reviews of the family business literature, the need for greater attention to family variables is a dominant refrain (Danes, 2014; James, Jennings, and Breitkreuz, 2012; McKenney, Payne, Zachary, and Short, 2014; Yu, Lumpkin, Sorenson, and Brigham, 2012). Paralleling the call for increased consideration of family-related factors is that for an enhanced appreciation of the broader economic, institutional and cultural environments in which business enterprises are also embedded.