Daughters on the Stage
9. Lessons of the Spotlight The previous chapters closely examine women’s experiences as leaders in family businesses, how they found and then managed the leadership spotlight. We drew on the phases of family business learning we described in our previous book (Moores and Barrett, 2002) and Curimbaba’s (2002) typology of women’s roles in family firms. Because family firms have been characterised as adopting clan-like behaviours, we also drew on the community of practice literature, especially Wenger (1999, 2000) to discern patterns in what learning in family business means. This chapter summarises the experiences of the whole sample, underlining how the distinctive aspects of family business influenced interviewees’ approach to leadership and entrepreneurship, sometimes helping, sometimes hindering their aspirations. SAME LEARNING PHASES, NEW LEARNING JOURNEYS Chapter 1 outlines how the present study was prompted by our interest in revisiting our earlier findings about the phases of learning family business, findings based on a sample mainly of male family firm leaders. Chapter 2 examines empirical evidence from countries worldwide that suggest that men’s and women’s entrepreneurship activities and profile vary according to factors in the entrepreneurial environment. We speculated that, because of the ways family businesses serve as training grounds for future entrepreneurs, and the ways the special characteristics of family businesses can lead to sustainable competitive advantage, having a family business background could further influence these environmental factors. We know that these factors, though universal, can affect female and male entrepreneurs differently, so we wanted to look closely at how a...
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