Gender in family business ownership and management: a six‐country analysis

Matthew C. Sonfield (Department of Management, Entrepreneurship and General Business, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA)
Robert N. Lussier (Department of Management, Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Publication date: 26 June 2009



While family firms constitute a highly important component of most countries' economies, and in many countries a sizable portion of these family businesses are owned and managed by women, there has been minimal study of gender issues in family business ownership and management. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap.


The research design was self‐reported survey research, which is the most commonly used methodology in family business research and for small business and entrepreneurship quantitative research.


In contrast to early (pre‐1980) gender comparisons in management and entrepreneurship, and in support of the majority of more recent studies, this investigation found no significant relationships between the gender of family business owner‐managers and ten management characteristic variables in a sample of 593 family businesses in six countries.


These findings add to the limited and currently inconclusive body of knowledge regarding gender issues specifically in family business, and more generally in entrepreneurship and management.



Sonfield, M.C. and Lussier, R.N. (2009), "Gender in family business ownership and management: a six‐country analysis", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 96-117.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.