European Management Review

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  • Does Growth Represent Chimera or Bellerophon for a Family Business? The Role of Entrepreneurial Orientation and Family Influence Nuances

    Growth brings lifeblood to sustain longevity across generation, but also critical challenges for family business. Relying on the behavioral agency model and its assumptions on risk‐bearing in family firms, we discuss and test the effect of family involvement in the top management team (TMT) on family business growth. We use an input‐behavior‐outcome framework based on the mediating role of entrepreneurial orientation. We also consider the moderating role of different ownership structures on the relationship between family involvement in the TMT on entrepreneurial orientation (EO). Results based on survey data collected by the STEP research consortium support the hypothesized negative effect of family involvement in the TMT on growth, fully mediated by EO. We also find that the presence of passive family members as majority shareholders and multigenerational involvement in ownership are important contingencies of the direct effect. Our evidence points to the fact that risk‐bearing in family firms is not just dependent on the degree of family involvement in management, but also on the interests of different types of shareholders. We show that the at‐times stylized negative traits of family firms are not universally valid, and that a comprehensive view of family influence over the business is needed to ascertain whether and to what extent these firms actually achieve growth.

  • Doubly Disadvantaged: Gender, Spatially Concentrated Deprivation and Nascent Entrepreneurial Activity

    Drawing on human capital, intersectionality and mixed embeddedness theory, we test hypotheses on the relationship between gender differences in human capital and gender differences in nascent entrepreneurial activity across geographical space, and the moderating effect of spatially concentrated deprivation on this relationship. Using UK data from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, we find that the disadvantaged position of female nascent entrepreneurs arises from social exclusion, and specifically that the gender differences in nascent entrepreneurial activity are directly related to differences in general and specific human capital across locales. Moreover, in deprived locations, women as a group do not gain from any human capital advantage they might have over men, causing a double disadvantage for women. Our results make a novel contribution to the literature on disadvantage entrepreneurship, and we discuss policy options to tackle double disadvantage in deprived locales.

  • Self‐efficacy and Success of Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs: The Moderating Role of Resilience

    This paper aims to explore the antecedents of success in the context of entrepreneurs with specific disadvantages, namely those with physical challenges, and those with mental limitations, such as dyslexia and attention deficit‐hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). With a sample of 114 disadvantaged entrepreneurs located in Italy, the research explores the relationship between self‐efficacy and entrepreneurial success (both at the individual and business level) and the moderating role of individual resilience. Implementing OLS analysis, findings suggest that self‐efficacy and resilience improve individual success of entrepreneurs and that their joint effect is positive. Slightly differently, it has not been found a positive direct impact of resilience on business success, while the moderating effect is significant and positive. We compare the results with findings from a sample of non‐disadvantaged entrepreneurs (108) thus providing diverse implications, opening up a debate around the different antecedents (and relative effects) of entrepreneur success at individual and business level.

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  • Researching Family Business Growth

    This paper is the first in a special section of the European Management Review dedicated to the growth of family businesses. We provide a literature review of 54 articles written in this research field, based on a framework that highlights the antecedents and the outcomes of growth at the family and the business levels. We also offer a brief overview of the contributions of each of the papers in this special section and conclude by identifying relevant research gaps to propose a number of future research directions.

  • Not all Entrepreneurship Is Created Equal: Theorising Entrepreneurial Disadvantage through Social Positionality

    The phenomenon of entrepreneurship has historically been viewed as an agential and meritocratic activity, wherein actors can creatively mobilise resources to overcome disadvantaged social positions. However, recent literature highlights entrepreneurship's socially embedded, processual nature, suggesting that enduring positions in social hierarchies may be more relevant to opportunity pursuit than previously envisioned. This conceptual paper proposes and builds upon the notions of intersectionality and positionality to more fully theorise disadvantage in entrepreneurial activity. Underpinned by philosophical realism, it makes an ontological argument about the nature of entrepreneurial advantage and disadvantage, offering a reconceptualisation of its relationship to agency and resources. The paper thus illuminates significant structural aspects of entrepreneurship that are currently under‐theorised, and without which the picture of entrepreneurial disadvantage is incomplete.

  • Disadvantage Entrepreneurship: Decoding a New Area of Research

    This paper discusses disadvantaged entrepreneurship by exploring what is meant by the term and then taking a broad approach towards its understanding as a research field worthy of more attention. We consider entrepreneurship as a support to the social and economic integration of disadvantaged people through their creation of new enterprises. Although the focus is on the positive benefits of entrepreneurship for disadvantaged people, we also acknowledge the undesirable realization that it can often be a necessity for those facing societal marginalization

  • Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards: Similarities and Differences in Quota Scenarios

    In this article, the use of gender quotas to strengthen gender equality on corporate boards is explored. Examining national practices in ten European countries we provide an overview, categorizing the design of various corporate board quotas (CBQs) and the contexts in which they are embedded. In particular, similarities and differences along two dimensions are investigated: the design of the CBQs in terms of their hardness and progressiveness, and the institutional context in which they are embedded. From patterns of design and context configurations, different quota scenarios are discerned. We advance the discussion of female representation and the strategies of corporate boards beyond the rather misleading dichotomy of voluntary targets versus mandatory quotas, proposing a framework for understanding various CBQ designs. Moreover, we suggest that the configuration of design and institutional context, resulting in different quota scenarios affects female representation on corporate boards.

  • The Inclusive Leader, the Smart Strategist and the Forced Altruist: Subject Positions for Men as Gender Equality Partners

    This article explores how men are conceptualised as partners in gender equality processes in organisations against the backdrop of a postfeminist sensibility. Drawing on interviews that formed part of organisational ethnographies, the article highlights three subject positions that men are encouraged to adopt: the inclusive leader, the smart strategist, and the forced altruist. All three subject positions entail the construction of men as disadvantaged through a focus on women. While theorists of postfeminism have shown how women are made responsible for their own success and failure with structural gender inequalities being disavowed, the opposite logic seems to operate for men; if men do not succeed, it is due to unequal gender structures that favour women. Alternative subject positions could focus on making men's privilege visible or on that men who support gender equality might accelerate their careers. The article also shows that gender equality is still seen as a women's issue rather than an issue that concerns both women and men.

  • Tokenism Revisited: When Organizational Culture Challenges Masculine Norms, the Experience of Token Is Transformed

    Extant research on tokenism has documented the adverse consequences for employees in minority positions and how women's possibility of action is constrained in male‐dominated contexts. We present an in‐depth qualitative case study of a male‐dominated organization in a masculine industry in which, despite all expectations, the experience of tokenism for minority women is ambiguous. Furthermore, these women also display a strong agentic role in an organization in which culture favours gender equality. This case reveals an aspect previously overlooked in studies of tokenism: the importance of organizational culture. By exposing and challenging the implicit masculine norm through its organizational culture, this organization actively engages in the change of gendering processes and contributes to establishing an alternative norm. Theoretical contributions show the impact of normative control on the experience of tokens, and how it provides a frame for action toward gender equality.

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