Opportunities and Resources in Latin America
Chapter 2: Hostile Environments and Entrepreneurial Orientation: A Study of Venezuelan Family Firms
Aramis Rodríguez and Rebeca Vidal INTRODUCTION The uncertainty in the business environment in Venezuela today – to say nothing of the current economic, financial and regulatory volatility – means that private firms, whether or not they are family firms, must operate in an adverse environment. Despite the hostile environment that has affected Venezuelan operating companies in recent years, a fair number have thrived and grown, and some of these have been family-run businesses. To learn more about how these family-run businesses tackled the hostile environment, this chapter explores relationships between the environment, family resources and the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of Venezuelan family firms. Since 2007, researchers have conducted case studies, gathering information on family firms in different Latin American countries in order to contribute to the conceptual model proposed by the STEP Framework (Habbershon et al., 2010; for details of the STEP Framework, see also Chapter 1 above). These case studies, which have been undertaken in Venezuela by the Entrepreneurship Center of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA), involve in-depth interviews with six individuals (family and non-family members) from each firm studied; they are qualitative and exploratory and have served to deepen and extend the process that has enabled successful family firms (those which have operated for more than two generations) to prevail over time. Various EO scholars have called for even more in-depth and qualitative research to increase the understanding and conceptualization of the dimensions and characteristics of entrepreneurial orientation (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996) and family firm...