chapter  12
Habitual entrepreneurship and the socioemotional wealth of dynastic family enterprise: a synthesis of arguments and directions for future research
Pages 15

Habitual entrepreneurship – the practice of establishing and simultaneously governing multiple new ventures – is a unique phenomenon that has the potential to significantly develop our fundamental understanding of entrepreneurship (MacMillan, 1986; Wright, Westhead, & Sohl, 1998). Extant research has found that habitual entrepreneurs differ from novice entrepreneurs in terms of motivation and growth intentions, which in turn influence the organizing mode of their founded firms and their subsequent entrepreneurial strategies (Westhead & Wright, 1998; Wiklund & Shepherd, 2008). While commonly studied at the individual level, habitual entrepreneurship can also emerge in collective contexts, such as within corporations or non-commercial social groupings such as families (Rosa, 1998). In this regard, business families can promote the entrepreneurial activities of family members by providing human, knowledge, or financial capital (Birley & Westhead, 1993; Sieger, Zellweger, Nason, & Clinton, 2011). Nevertheless, while scholars largely acknowledge the presence of business families in cases of habitual entrepreneurship (Plate, Schiede, & Schlippe, 2010), their impact on the entrepreneurial process of family members is widely unknown. The study of the influence of family characteristics on entrepreneurial and organizational behavior has significantly developed over the last decade (De Massis, Sharma, Chua, & Chrisman, 2012; Gedajlovic, Carney, Chrisman, & Kellermanns, 2012). The salience of socioemotional wealth (SEW) – the multidimensional affective endowment of family owners that motivates their pursuit of non-economic goals (Berrone, Cruz, & Gomez-Mejia, 2012) – in particular serves as an idiosyncratic characteristic of family firms that fundamentally differentiates them from non-family firms, and provides a mechanism to distinguish family firms with differing levels of family-centered goals and motivations (Gómez-Mejía, Haynes, Núñez-Nickel, Jacobson, & Moyano-Fuentes, 2007). Broadly, the importance of SEW in family firms drives them toward an increased consideration of the preservation of family ideals, even when doing so may weaken the firm’s financial performance or competitiveness (Berrone et al., 2012; Chrisman, Chua, Pearson, & Barnett, 2012). The rapid expanse of research regarding the organizational implications of this desire to preserve a family’s SEW has allowed scholars to better understand family firms, and particularly the multigenerational motivations characteristic of family business.