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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Entrepreneurship unfolding : the effect of entrepreneurship on family wellbeing—a family embedded perspective Houshmand, Marjan


Family business is an important and prevalent type of organization. The intertwined relationship between business and family has deep implications for the success of the family business and the welfare of the business family. In this dissertation, I aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of that relationship by using a dynamic approach to study how family businesses evolve and how they impact the family. I focus on opportunity entrepreneurship and study its antecedents and outcomes. I study (1) the factors that shape the path of individuals into opportunity entrepreneurship, and (2) the implications of the business for the entrepreneur and for other members of the family as it evolves into a business family. I develop an unfolding model of entrepreneurship that captures the impact of business involvement of family members on their psychological and financial wellbeing. My core thesis is that the involvement of family members in a family business has important consequences for the business family. I formulate hypotheses about four forms of involvement: (1) direct involvement through self-employment, (2) indirect involvement through living with a self-employed relative, (3) direct and dependent involvement through working for a relative, and (4) family-level involvement in terms of the proportion and intensity of family members work in the business. Moreover, I argue that the effects of these forms of business involvement are moderated by the household roles that family members play. I explore empirically how these forms of involvement coupled with household roles affect family members' psychological wellbeing (life satisfaction) and financial wellbeing (income). I use a comprehensive large panel dataset from Germany that spans over 28 years and use fixed effect models. I find that family business involvement has positive effects for the entrepreneur, while it has negative effects for the other members of the family. Family-level business involvement has overall negative effects. I also find that the effect of business involvement on family member's wellbeing is not moderated by gender, nor is it moderated by household roles. Overall, the findings support my unfolding model of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a mixed blessing in terms of the wellbeing of family members.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada