Entrepreneurship within the family business context can be best understood by moving beyond the individual entrepreneur to consider the joint practices of a number of individuals. Collective units, therefore, offer a more valid representation of the reality for family businesses, providing an opportunity to understand the joint contribution of a number of business members in family business entrepreneurship (Dyer and Handler, 1994; Fitzgerald and Muske, 2002; Habbershon and Pistrui, 2002; Kellermanns and Eddleston, 2006). Since entrepreneurs tend to develop their skills and understanding of entrepreneurship through a process of entrepreneurial learning (Rae, 2000; Minniti and Bygrave, 2001; Cope, 2003, 2005), it is important to understand how this learning takes place within a context where co-participation in entrepreneurship is apparent. Organizational learning perspectives, drawing upon theories such as situated learning (Brown and Duguid, 1991; Hamilton, 2005, 2011), social capital (Granovetter, 1985; Burt, 2000; Lin, 1999; Adler and Kwon, 2002; Taylor and Thorpe, 2004; Andersson et al., 2005), and activity theory (Engeström, 1987; Engeström and Middleton, 1996; Engeström, 1999) offer an opportunity for exploring entrepreneurial learning practices within the family business context under a collectivist lens. We term this ‘collective entrepreneurial learning’ and argue that it is a central element of collective entrepreneurial practices within family businesses.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.