Relational embeddedness and firm growth: Comparing spousal and sibling entrepreneurs

Item Type Journal paper

Integrating relational embeddedness arguments with Penrosean growth theory, we compare the growth of firms run by spousal entrepreneurs with firms run by sibling entrepreneurs. We theorize that trust, identification, and mutual obligations—the three facets of relational embeddedness—are more pronounced in spousal teams than in sibling teams, which provides spousal teams with advantages over sibling teams in generating firm growth. Probing a sample of all private firms in Sweden over a three-year period, we find support for this conjecture. Exploring boundary conditions to this baseline relationship, we also find that firm age weakens the growth advantages of spousal teams over sibling teams and that industry experience heterogeneity within the entrepreneurial team reinforces these growth advantages. These results provide important contributions for research on firm growth, the social embeddedness of firms, entrepreneurship, and family business.

Authors Bird, Miriam & Zellweger, Thomas Markus
Journal or Publication Title Organization Science
Language English
Subjects business studies
Institute/School KMU - Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
IMP - Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance
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HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 2017
Publisher Informs
ISSN 1047-7039
Contact Email Address
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Thomas Markus Zellweger
Date Deposited 24 Sep 2017 18:28
Last Modified 16 Feb 2018 13:42


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Bird, Miriam & Zellweger, Thomas Markus (2017) Relational embeddedness and firm growth: Comparing spousal and sibling entrepreneurs. Organization Science, ISSN 1047-7039

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