chapter  11
The impact of domestic drivers and barriers on the entrepreneurial start- up decision ROB LUBBERINK , VINCENT BLOK , JOHAN A . C . VAN OPHEM ,
Pages 25

Many people would like to be an entrepreneur and enjoy the advantageous prospects of being their own boss and having greater job autonomy. However, only some of these people do become entrepreneurs whereas others do not. This may be due to different levels of access to resources (e.g. money, information, or advice) needed for firm founding (Kim, Aldrich, and Keister 2006). Social capital is a means to acquire and utilize these resources (Anderson and Jack 2002) during the firm founding process (Brüderl and Preisendörfer 1998; Stam 2010). Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998, p. 243) describe it as ‘the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, and derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit’. Many scholars have studied the effect of strong ties with family and friends on entrepreneurship (e.g. Granovetter 1973; Jack 2005; Krackhardt 1992). Despite an increasing interest in the impact of the networks of relationships on the entrepreneurial process that can be found in the literature (Hoang and Antoncic 2003; Schutjens and Stam 2003; Greve and Salaff 2003; Drakopoulou-Dodd, Jack, and Anderson 2006), the household is a crucial but often overlooked part of this network. The impact of the family is often studied from the perspective of Family Entrepreneurship (Lumpkin, Brigham, and Moss 2010), where the family is seen as a bounded entity (Anderson, Jack, and Dodd 2005). However, the intersections between family, family company, and entrepreneurship are still under-examined (Hoy and Sharma 2010; Nordqvist and Melin 2010; Uhlaner et al. 2012). This is surprising, to say the least, as the family is a critical source of social capital (Bubolz 2001) and can be the breeding ground for the predisposition to entrepreneurship (Rogoff and Heck 2003). Rogoff and Heck (2003, p. 559) even call the family ‘the oxygen that feeds the fire of entrepreneurship’. Besides, there is considerable evidence that family considerations are taken into account when making decisions in the work domain (Powell and Greenhaus 2012). The work-family interface between the entrepreneur, household members, and the company is changing continuously. It is exactly this dynamic nature of environments and relationships that creates the need to examine the conditions under which social capital in the entrepreneur’s network is in danger of being lost or becoming dissipated (Gedajlovic et al. 2013). Therefore, we look at social capital from the dimension of relational embeddedness (focus on the quality and type of relationships) instead of structural embeddedness (properties of the social system or network as a whole) while recognizing their interrelatedness

(Nahapiet and Ghoshal 1998). By integrating these arguments, this study aims to explore the impact of the household network on the entrepreneurial process by identifying domestic drivers of and barriers to the start-up decision. This will give the necessary insights into gaining and sustaining the social capital provided by the household members of entrepreneurs. This study also differs from typical Family Entrepreneurship studies because it is not confined to family enterprises, but instead includes all kinds of enterprises. Furthermore, we do not look at the whole family of the entrepreneur, instead our scope only includes members of the entrepreneur’s household (i.e. the domestic network). In the end, this chapter will provide an answer to the following research question: What impact do the domestic drivers and barriers of entrepreneurs have on the entrepreneurial start-up decision? In this research we have studied the impact of the household on the start-up decision from a work-family conflict perspective. Strong ties in social networks need to be developed and maintained (Adler and Kwon 2002) also in the household (Bubolz 2001). This needs investment of time and energy that cannot be invested then in the company. Entrepreneurs need to balance family and work domains to prevent conflicts and possible disintegration of the family or company. Therefore, in the theoretical framework, we first provide a brief overview of networks, how networks provide social capital, and what the connection is between social capital and entrepreneurship. Subsequently, we present the main theories in the field of work-family interface with a special focus on work-family conflict theory, since the conflict theory forms the basis of our framework. Because of the objective of this study, and the limited sources available to us, we have carried out some essential exploratory research. In order to identify the drivers and barriers, 45 semi-structured interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs living in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. These cities are located in countries where labour can be characterized by its high productivity and relatively low numbers of working hours. For that reason, western countries often use them as inspiration for improving conditions important to maintaining a good work-life balance (Khallash and Kruse 2012). The findings of this research can be used to help entrepreneurs, coaches who assist entrepreneurs, policy makers, and others involved in enhancing entrepreneurial careers.