chapter  2
Corporate Family Entrepreneurship: the seven circumstances
Pages 24

The present chapter is devoted to the concept of Corporate Family Entrepreneurship (CFE) and aims at reviewing past literature and trying to propose where research should go in such a field of studies. CFE is a concept that stands at the interface between family business studies and corporate entrepreneurship research, a conceptual crossing representing an interesting research area for scholars of both fields (Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 2005; Hoy, 2006; Lumpkin, Brigham, & Moss, 2010). Research efforts are called because of a twofold justification: on the one hand, the importance of family businesses in the global economy (La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, & Shleifer, 1999); on the other hand, the empirical evidence of the effects of corporate entrepreneurship on firm performance (e.g., Rauch, Wiklund, Lumpkin, & Frese, 2009; Zahra, 1991), organizational learning (e.g., Dess, Ireland, Zahra, Floyd, Janney, & Lane, 2003), and industries’ growth and development (e.g., Audretsch & Thurik, 2003). Although recent efforts have been made to review extant knowledge on the topic (McKelvie, McKenny, Lumpkin, & Short, 2014) we continue here the debate by exploring this topic from a different perspective. Specifically, the approach that we use is based on Hermagoras’ method of the “seven Ws” (see Figure 2.1). Hermagoras of Temnos was an ancient Greek rhetorician who lived in the first century bc and developed the method of dividing a topic into its seven circumstances: who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means. In each of the seven Ws we will try to report the published literature and propose new avenues for future research. Our effort will be of help for readers interested to know more about Family Entrepreneurship in the corporate context. In particular, we offer an updated review of articles via a rhetorical method that ensures thoroughness in the coverage of CFE. The chapter addresses the definitional issue (what), the levels of analysis in CFE (who), the reasons why CFE is developed (why), how CFE is developed, meaning in what way and by what means CFE is carried out, the role of time in CFE (when) and the role of industrial and geographical context (where). The papers that we review originated from the following literature collection strategy. We searched a number of databases (EconLit, Business Source Premier; Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection; Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts; MLA International Bibliography; MLA Directory of Periodicals; Humanities International Complete; SocINDEX; JSTOR;

and Web of Knowledge) for articles that explicitly mentioned “corporate entrepreneurship,” “entrepreneurial orientation,” “intrapreneurship,” “strategic renewal,” “organizational renewal,” “innovation,” “new business venturing,” “strategic entrepreneurship,” “corporate venturing,” or “internal ventures,” in the title, abstract, or keywords without placing boundaries on time period (the search ended on September 30, 2013). We requested that the abstract must also contain one of the following: “family firm,” “family business,” or “family enterprise” and/or common derivations (e.g., “family businesses”). This search yielded 123 relevant articles. From this list we eliminated 71 non-academic articles, teaching cases, and those with only weak ties to corporate entrepreneurship and family business. To ensure that articles of relevance not using specified keywords were included we performed a focused/manual search and added 31 papers. This resulted in a total of 83 articles, 53 of them were empirically based: they are listed and classified in the Appendix to this chapter (the search ended on September 30, 2013: the search of empirical papers on CFE was closed on this date to respect the submission deadlines of the call for this edited book). Hereafter we offer a review by mainly considering the empirical efforts that have been made up to now and the potential research agenda that could emerge.2