Opportunities and Resources in Latin America
Edited by Mattias Nordqvist, Giuseppe Marzano, Esteban R. Brenes, Gonzalo Jiménez and Maria Fonseca-Paredes
Chapter 1: Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments: The Case of Latin America
Mattias Nordqvist, Giuseppe Marzano, Esteban R. Brenes, Gonzalo Jiménez and María Fonseca-Paredes ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FAMILY BUSINESSES: THE RESEARCH AREA Scholarly interest in entrepreneurship in the context of family businesses has risen in recent years. The role of family in entrepreneurial activities, choices and outcomes at different levels of analysis has grown from obscurity into a thriving research area. Using the family as a unit of analysis in entrepreneurship research is also increasingly popular, although empirical studies are still rare (Aldrich and Cliff, 2003; Nordqvist and Melin, 2010). The literature on entrepreneurship and family business can be divided into two groups. The first stream of studies emphasizes the role and meaning of family as support for start-up and new venture activities (Aldrich and Cliff, 2003; Steier, 2007). The second stream of studies looks at entrepreneurship in established family businesses – that is, corporate entrepreneurship (Zahra et al., 2004; Kellermanns and Eddleston, 2006). Corporate entrepreneurship researchers working in the area of family businesses do not yet agree whether the specific characteristics of family businesses, such as, for instance, strong organizational cultures, long-term orientation, flexible governance structures, independence and an interest in non-financial performance, facilitate or constrain their entrepreneurial processes and outcomes (Zahra, 2005; Naldi et al., 2007; Lumpkin et al., 2010). Recent research has, however, begun to offer useful conceptual frameworks and some empirical evidence regarding the characteristics of entrepreneurial family businesses (Habbershon et al., 2010; Nordqvist and 1 M2787 - NORDQVIST TEXT.indd 1 16/11/2011 11:03 2 Understanding family businesses...
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