Exploring Growth and Performance in Family Firms Across Generations
Edited by Mattias Nordqvist and Thomas M. Zellweger
Chapter 1: Transgenerational Entrepreneurship
1. Transgenerational entrepreneurship Timothy G. Habbershon, Mattias Nordqvist and Thomas M. Zellweger 1.1 INTRODUCTION This book is about transgenerational entrepreneurship. This concept is introduced to the literature as a way to examine, understand and explain entrepreneurship – and especially corporate entrepreneurship – within the context of families and family businesses. We see entrepreneurship as the creation of new enterprising activities (Davidsson and Wiklund, 2001; Schumpeter, 1934), that is, innovation, new venture and strategic renewal (Sharma and Chrisman, 1999) leading to social and economic performance within firms. Following Schumpeter (1934) we consider that the creation of new streams of economic and social value through enterprising activities is crucial, not only for new firms but also for established firms, since entrepreneurship is not only important for creating but also for sustaining the firm’s internal ‘generative capability’, defined as the capacity to renew a firm’s operations through innovation in order to create new capabilities (Zahra, 2005). In particular, we focus on established firms that are controlled by families and that have a vision of family influence beyond the founding generation (Chua et al., 1999). We argue that entrepreneurship is a key to performance and success over several generations in family firms. Our interest in multigenerational business families and family businesses is the main reason why we use the concept of transgenerational entrepreneurship. Following Gartner’s (2001) view to adopt a dynamic view of entrepreneurship as a process that occurs over time, we formally define transgenerational entrepreneurship as the ‘processes through which a family uses and develops...
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