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Managing work and family in small “copreneurial” business: an Australian study

Catherine R. Smith (Catherine R. Smith is Foundation Chair of Business and Head, School of Business, at the Central Coast Campus of the University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia.)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



This paper reports on a recent Australian study of 20 “copreneurial” marital partners who own and manage a small business together. For “copreneurs”, the disadvantages of living and working together are outweighed by opportunities for maximum autonomy and personal control, and working together in a common cause which capitalises on individual strengths and values. Work and family management is enhanced by this form of family business, allowing partners to combine career and home duties flexibly and effectively. Traditional gender roles are apparent in “copreneurship”, with women predominantly responsible for the home domain and family care. “Copreneurship” helps promote a “family‐friendly” work environment for the business partners and for their employees. This “family‐friendly” culture also fosters an entrepreneurial spirit in children, which bodes well for the next generation of small business owners and salaried employees.



Smith, C.R. (2000), "Managing work and family in small “copreneurial” business: an Australian study", Women in Management Review, Vol. 15 No. 5/6, pp. 283-289.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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