Title: Entrepreneurial opportunity identification and new firm development processes: a comparison of family and non-family new ventures

Authors: James Hayton, Gaylen N. Chandler, Dawn R. DeTienne

Addresses: Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology & Enterprise (KITE), Newcastle University Business School, Citywall, Citygate, St. James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4JH, UK. ' Center for Entrepreneurship, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 76260-1047, USA. ' Department of Management, Colorado State University, 207 Rockwell Hall, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

Abstract: This research examines differences between family and non-family firms with respect to new venture creation processes. We invoke a social embeddedness explanation of differences between family and non-family firms with respect to opportunity identification processes and outcomes and new venture development processes. In a sample of 183 family and non-family firms, we find that family firms are less likely to report an opportunity identification process that is sudden, spontaneous and creative. The new opportunities thus identified are less innovative than those identified by non-family firms. Finally, family firms are somewhat more likely to follow effectuation processes and significantly less likely to follow causation processes during new venture creation. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: non-family firms; opportunity identification; effectuation; development processes; creation processes; social embeddedness; innovativeness; causation; new business ventures; electronic measuring devices; medical instruments; surgical instruments; entrepreneurship; innovation management; entrepreneurial behaviour; family businesses.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2011.038445

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2011 Vol.13 No.1, pp.12 - 31

Published online: 07 Feb 2011 *

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