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Imprints in the Sand: How Family Affects Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Imprints in the Sand: How Family Affects Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Reda, Barbara (2022) Imprints in the Sand: How Family Affects Entrepreneurship and Innovation. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Imprints in the Sand: How Family Affects Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Barbara Reda, Ph.D.
Concordia University, 2022

This three-paper dissertation examines the family’s impact on the entrepreneurial decision to begin a new business or maintain innovative capabilities in an existing one. I will look at how early childhood memories and family relationships affect innovation at the individual level. The overall research question asks how society can create more entrepreneurs and what effect the family has in this process.
The first paper examines the link between a person’s entrepreneurial intention and their family’s expectations. Survey data from 157 business undergraduates indicate that although no direct effects were found linking family relationships to entrepreneurial intention, the addition of family relationships improves the perceived expectations’ predictive ability on entrepreneurial intention. An emergent finding also points to the importance of childhood memories and how they affect entrepreneurial intention.

The second paper uses a single case study of a business family to examine the effects of childhood memories (imprints) on future behaviour. The analysis of the qualitative data indicates that imprints that develop from the observation of others must occur before those that develop through personal experience. Furthermore, the source of imprints forms different innovative behaviours. An interesting finding was the importance placed by the family members on family bonding experiences created from shared activities such as family dinner conversations and vacations.

The third paper uses a mixed method, multiple case study of 27 family firms to explore the relationships between imprints and entrepreneurial behaviours and includes family bonding experiences. Findings from the second paper were replicated with the addition of a new innovative behavioural type. This unique behavioural type emerged from the participants who were not close to other family business members but still maintained their family’s innovative and entrepreneurial behaviours.

Overall, this dissertation contributes to the entrepreneurial and innovation literature in two ways. First, it extends the knowledge of imprinting both in terms of the process of imprinting and its link to innovative behaviours. Second, it has practical implications for policymakers and business families interested in developing next-generation entrepreneurs.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Management
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Reda, Barbara
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Business Administration (Management specialization)
Date:6 April 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dyer, Linda and Jaskiewicz, Peter
ID Code:991294
Deposited By: Barbara Reda
Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 14:14
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 14:14
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