Thick Narratives in Family Businesses: An Exploration of Entrepreneurial Discourse

Rogers-Draycott, Matthew C. (2021) Thick Narratives in Family Businesses: An Exploration of Entrepreneurial Discourse. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Aim This study aims to explore how the process of entrepreneurship is affected by family relationships, to address the following research questions: 1. What familial structures do entrepreneurs recognise? 2. How does the culture of these structures affect the entrepreneurial processes? 3. Does entrepreneurs’ enaction of an entrepreneurial process have an impact on their familial structures? Rationale In the last two decades there has been an increasing interest in research which explores family business as a domain of academic study (Short et al., 2016). While this is closely tied to entrepreneurship, the two fields often exhibit a fractious relationship (Goal and Jones, 2016; Shepard, 2016). To address this, Family Entrepreneurship has emerged as a distinct field (Rogoff and Heck, 2003; Heck et al., 2008; Nordqvist and Melin, 2010) seeking to formalise an embedded approach (Aldrich and Cliff, 2003) to the study of families, entrepreneurs, and family businesses. Recently, this work has been codified by Bettinelli et al. (2014; 2017) who have also identified several under-researched aspects of the topic, and it is these calls which the thesis seeks to develop. Methodology The study is realist social constructionist exploration of family groups and their effects on the process of entrepreneurship. The investigation is based on 3 case studies, each containing multiple participants. The length of the cases ranged from 12-18 months depending on the accessibility of the participants. Analysis of the data focuses on the identification of significant events in the narrative and their interpretation. 3 Findings 1. That individuals recognise, and draw on, complex collections of heterogeneous family structures; 2. That culture of the structures has a range of normative effects on individuals which impacts their disposition to act to entrepreneurially; and 3. That any transference of culture is a mutual experience and that entrepreneurs frequently appear to affect others, especially those in their family groups to become entrepreneurial. Contribution The findings herein add important insights to several research conversations which challenge established positions surrounding the understanding of families and their relationship to the process of entrepreneurship. The author’s development of a Narrative Event Analysis approach will be of value to other researchers seeking to work with thick narratives as other work to develop these methods offers few practical insights.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: PhD submitted to the University of Gloucestershire through the Royal Agricultural University.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Family businesses
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2340.8 Small and Medium-sized businesses, artisans, handcrafts, trades
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 13:01
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 13:02

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