Abstract

This conceptual paper is part of a wider project (“The STEP Research Project”) aimed at investigating antecedents and outcomes of Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices. In order to pursue research around the constructs of family and entrepreneurship, we introduce the conceptual framework of “transgenerational entrepreneurship”. Transgenerational Entrepreneurship refers to a family’s mindset and capabilities to continue their entrepreneurial legacy of social and economic wealth creation across many generations. The aim of the STEP project is to identify successful practices which can empower the family as a critical engine for sustainable entrepreneurial activity. Within this perspective, “transgenerational entrepreneurship” refers to sustained family-based entrepreneurship that creates a continuing stream of family-influenced social and economic wealth across many generations.

The more limited aim of this paper is to provide conceptual grounding and guidance to the empirical dimension of the STEP project. In order to pursue this endeavor we define transgenerational outcomes, we identify the family as a distinct unit of analysis capable of collective and sustainable entrepreneurial behavior through time, and we search for the familiness antecedents, enablers and drivers for these transgenerational outcomes. Through this exploration we will identify the family’s entrepreneurial activity through the lens of entrepreneurship theory, research and practice, and conversely apply entrepreneurship theory, research and practice to the wealth creation activities of the family.

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