The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship

The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship

A Fourth Movements in Entrepreneurship Book

Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert

This fourth book in the New Movements in Entrepreneurship series focuses on the politics and aesthetics of entrepreneurial processes, in order to shed light on entrepreneurial creation itself.

Chapter 7: Rekindling the Entrepreneurial Potential of Family Business – A Radical (Old-fashioned) Feminist Proposal

Kathryn Campbell

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisation studies


Kathryn Campbell Encouraged by research that confirms that family-controlled businesses dominate the global economic landscape,22 this chapter contemplates the radical proposition that family business researchers adopt an (oldfashioned) feminist lens of analysis in order to re-centre family businesses as definitive and transformative entrepreneurial enterprises. The study of family businesses23 has, until recently, been positioned within the field of entrepreneurship as a minor or subset research domain. That subordinate status was predicated on the belief that entrepreneurial behaviour was best typified by the entrepreneurial individual. However, adulation of the heroic is abating (Steyaert, 2004) with collateral recognition of entrepreneurship as a process that is amenable to group/team enterprise and civic society engagement, an approach that is being promulgated in the work on social entrepreneurship. Now, entrepreneurship researchers are challenged to further augment their focus by examining the entrepreneurial potential of family business through an (old-fashioned) feminist lens of analysis. Living and working at the margins of power (hooks, 1984; Campbell, 2004) feminist researchers bring to mainstream research insights and methodologies honed in debates about social justice, inclusivity and community and this expertise will be invaluable to the ongoing development of family business research. The immediate goal is the deconstruction of uncontested theories and methodologies used by many family business researchers. The ultimate goal is the radical rethinking of entrepreneurial processes such that the family business is restored as the nucleus around which to build and nurture a human-scaled and life-affirming economy.24 Here the modifier radical...

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