Document Type

Student Research Paper


Dr. Petru Sandu

Publication Date

Spring 2020




Family business scholars have mainly focused on understanding how traditions and preservation of family involvement affects business. Entrepreneurship scholars’ main interest lies in discovering motivations and consequences of creating new ventures and ideas (Nordqvist et al., 2010). To understand the relationship between family businesses and entrepreneurship it is first important to understand how specific elements involved in family businesses research affect the ability of a business to act entrepreneurially. Family businesses are different than non-family businesses because of their tendency to be led by values of stewardship and socio-economic-wealth. The tight-knit relationships between members of family businesses and their efforts to preserve family ownership also have unique effects on performance and growth (Chua et al., 1999). Although the two fields have only recently come together, it is possible to examine the existing, varying scholarly opinions about entrepreneurial abilities of family firms through the lens of entrepreneurial orientation theory.

This paper will build on existing research about individual entrepreneurial orientation in multi-generational family businesses analyzing surveys taken by 10 individuals from 5 different businesses about the familial elements of their business as well as their personal capacity for self-efficacy, networking, innovation, proactivity, and risk-taking. Results of the survey show a general aversion to risk, a correlation between proactiveness in individuals an family business elements, changes in networking preferences between generations, and a notable relationship between business longevity, IEO, and family business elements. On the whole, IEO still needs to be researched under many different, isolated family business contexts. But there is evidence family business elements have a positive affect IEO.


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