New research: religion and traditions shape family mindset towards business practices
Entrepreneurship is important for economic and social development in most countries; and many entrepreneurial activities take place in the family business setting, either as family-based start-ups or as new venture and innovative activities in established family businesses. Despite this, relatively little research has been done on transgenerational entrepreneurship – or the capacity of family businesses to engage in entrepreneurship to flourish across generations. Recent scholarship has established that national culture influences transgenerational entrepreneurship. But that research does not focus enough on the influence of religious norms and traditions.
New research, conducted in part at the House of Innovation, focuses on the subregional differences in religion and traditions in a country, and their impact on transgenerational entrepreneurship. This research is highly relevant given recent scholarship which shows that religion and family norms strongly influence the values, priorities, and behaviors of family business.
The research findings suggest that religion and traditions shape the family structure to produce effects on family functioning and on the family mindset. These factors subsequently shape how transgenerational entrepreneurship is fostered or hindered through specific business practices.
These findings were based on interviews with 30 informants (family and non-family members) in top-level management positions in 18 multigenerational family businesses. The interviews were conducted in Nigeria, which is a developing country where different religions are practiced, both Christianity-based and Islam-based, depending on the subregion.
Research like this is important because it expands our understanding of transgenerational entrepreneurship. Further, it adds to the literature at the nexus of family science and family business by developing the meanings of different family structures, shaped by religion and tradition in subregions, for transgenerational entrepreneurship. Further, this research addresses growing calls to contextualize entrepreneurship and family business research and shed more light on factors that drive or constrain transgenerational entrepreneurship. Lastly, this research extends our knowledge about entrepreneurship in developing countries.
Nonyelum Lina Eze1, Mattias Nordqvist2, Georges Samara3, and Maria José Parada1
1 Universitat Ramon Llull, Esade Business School, Barcelona, Spain
2 House of Innovation, Stockholm School of Economics
3 University of Sharjah, College of Business Administration, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates