Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone
Chapter 6: Transgenerational Entrepreneurship: Exploring Entrepreneural Orientation in Family Firms
6. Transgenerational entrepreneurship: exploring entrepreneurial orientation in family ﬁrms Mattias Nordqvist, Timothy G. Habbershon and Leif Melin INTRODUCTION Scholars seem to agree that corporate entrepreneurship is a useful concept to address how ﬁrms engage in change and renewal processes to maintain and improve their competitiveness. Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) represents a growing stream of literature on corporate entrepreneurship that focuses on decision-making styles and practices related to the entrepreneurial activities of ﬁrms. Recently, EO scholars have pointed to the need to explore the characteristics of EO and its dimensions in various types of organizations in greater depth (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996; Lyon et al., 2000). The underlying assumption is that EO might diﬀer in important ways between organizational contexts. Family ﬁrms are often considered to be the most common type of business ﬁrms, yet many management theories do not take the family dimension and involvement into account (Dyer, 2003). We argue in this chapter that family ﬁrms constitute a unique context for entrepreneurship. For instance, enduring interactions between individuals, the family and the ﬁrm may create speciﬁc family-related bundles of resources and capabilities that constrain or facilitate entrepreneurial activities (Habbershon et al., 2003). In addition, longer investment and ownership horizons (James, 1999) mean that many family ﬁrms strive for transgenerational entrepreneurship (Habbershon and Pistrui, 2002). In the scarce literature on entrepreneurship in family ﬁrms it is possible to see two contradictory streams. One depicts family ﬁrms as a context where entrepreneurship ﬂourishes and the other views family ﬁrms as...
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