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Entrepreneurial learning in family business

Research output: Working paper

Publication date2006
Place of PublicationLancaster University
PublisherInstitute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameEntrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Working Paper Series


This paper draws on a situated learning perspective to examine learning in the context of family business. It draws on the experience of two generations, the founders of a business and their successors from the next generation of the same family. In-depth interviews provide an insight into learning about business as articulated by families who own and manage a business spanning more than one generation. The study relies on their narratives as a way of knowing and as a form of communication. Narrative interpretation throws into relief aspects of learning in the context of a family business. A review of the entrepreneurial learning literature offers theoretical insights but it also highlights the existing research focus on the individual, predominately male, entrepreneur. This paper challenges that assumption and reveals the complex intergenerational dynamics of family and business. It contributes towards a re-conceptualisation of entrepreneurial learning as socially situated, embedded in participation in the social practices of the family and the business.