Title: The contribution of women in family business

Authors: Jarna Heinonen, Pekka Stenholm

Addresses: Turku School of Economics, TSE Entre Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, 20500 Turku, Finland. ' School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA; Turku School of Economics, TSE Entre Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, 20500 Turku, Finland

Abstract: This study presents the results from a social constructivist analysis of the accounts on women influence in family business as perceived by six women interviewed. The study aims to gain deeper understanding of the contribution of women to family business from the perspective of the women themselves. Our results show that women are vital for the functioning of the family business. The closeness to the business and contribution seem to go hand in hand independent on the formal ownership. Surprisingly, formal and visible ownership remained in the background when women defined their contribution indicating that psychological ownership is important in understanding the development of the women|s contribution in the family business. Our results indicate that the woman herself does not belittle her contribution and recognises her own ways of exerting an influence. Our research opens up new avenues for studying the dynamics of family businesses from the actors| own perspectives.

Keywords: family life; value creation; Finland; social constructivist analysis; female influences; female perspectives; formal ownership; visible ownership; psychological ownership; business dynamics; women contribution; female entrepreneurs; gender roles; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurship; innovation management; entrepreneurial behaviour; family businesses.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2011.038448

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2011 Vol.13 No.1, pp.62 - 79

Published online: 07 Feb 2011 *

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