Research suggests that children of self-employed parents and children belonging to family businesses are much more likely to pursue entrepreneurial careers. But while nature is a critical driving force behind intergenerational entrepreneurship, nurture seems to be even more important. The next question, and the overarching goal of this dissertation, is how do enterprising families – defined as families who own more than one business, but don't necessarily do so together – nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs? Of particular importance to discovering the process of intergenerational entrepreneurship, is understanding why some siblings follow an entrepreneurial path while others actively avoid it. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, 35 family members across eight enterprising families were interviewed. The findings suggest a critical determinant of who becomes an entrepreneur is based on children's entrepreneurial sensemaking, which they form throughout their experiences in childhood and adolescence. Child-specific characteristics, such as entrepreneurial innateness, as well as the presence of family system facilitators, were critical factors that influenced the valence of children's entrepreneurial sensemaking (i.e., negative, positive, balanced), which in turn influenced their career trajectories (i.e., never entrepreneurs, legacy entrepreneurs, open professionals). These findings have important practical implications for the sustainability of enterprising families.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Management Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Burrows, Sarah, "The Distribution of Entrepreneurship Within and Across Generations of Enterprising Families" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1853.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2028; it will then be open access.