In this monograph we focus on family entrepreneurship, a developing field that studies entrepreneurial behaviors of family, family members and family businesses by taking into account the possible interplays among them. We offer a conceptualization together with a review of the literature as well as a research agenda of this field. Our conceptualization of family entrepreneurship makes it possible to disentangle complex relationships that characterize the field while the review of the literature offers some examples of how entrepreneurial behaviors can be affected by the family business context. The proposed research agenda offers some guidelines for future research that should advance our knowledge of family entrepreneurship.
Family Entrepreneurship: A Developing Field contributes to the previous literature on this topic in three different ways. First, through the offered conceptualization of family entrepreneurship, the authors make it possible to disentangle complex relationships that characterize the field. Second, this review of the literature offers some examples of how entrepreneurial behaviors can be affected by the interplays that can occur among these actors and sheds light on the fact that not only family businesses are social systems composed of the controlling family unit, the business entity, and the individual family members but also that there can be bi or even multi directional relationships among them. Third, the authors propose a research agenda that offers some concrete examples of research questions that should advance our knowledge of family entrepreneurship.
Family Entrepreneurship: A Developing Field is structured as follows. Section 1 presents a conceptualization of family entrepreneurship: we present the loci of entrepreneurial behaviors (the family, the individual, and the family firm) and position the interactions between these loci, the different nexus between each pair of loci. Section 2 studies the family — individual nexus, and in particular socialization, support and encouragement, and experimentation. The third section develops on the nexus individual — family firm. The fourth section explores the nexus family — family firm. During the course of this contribution the authors come to recognize that not only is there a dearth of theory-testing and empirical research concentrating on the effects of family factors on entrepreneurial processes where the family dimensions may be placed at the center stage, but there is also a need to show the interconnectedness of entrepreneurship in family firms by considering how entrepreneurial behaviors are hindered or promoted by the three nexus we have identified — those between the individual, the family, and family business. The concluding comments underscore the fact that although much is yet to be done, family entrepreneurship could definitely be seen definitely as an emerging field of research that deserves full attention.