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Authoring second-generation entrepreneur and family business stories

Robert Smith (Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore the under researched interface between entrepreneur and family business stories and in particular the form and structure of second-generation entrepreneur stories. It illustrates how second-generation entrepreneur stories can be (co)authored to narrate an alternative entrepreneurial identity within a family business setting.


From a desk based review of relevant literature a number of conceptual storyline models are developed and these are used to better understand second-generation entrepreneur/family business stories.


The authorial process allows individual family members the freedom to craft contingent stories which fit their circumstances. The paper also examines the research process of co-authoring research with respondents and how this adds value to the process. The findings are mainly relevant to theory building.

Research limitations/implications

There are obvious limitations to the study in that the conceptual model is only compared against one second-generation entrepreneur story and that clearly further research must be conducted to establish the veracity of the storyline models developed.

Practical implications

There are some very practical implications in relation to conflict resolution within family businesses in that the storying process allows individuals the freedom to author their own stories and place in family and family business history.


This paper highlights the contribution that an understanding of the interface between entrepreneur and family business stories can bring to understanding this complex dynamic.



Smith, R. (2014), "Authoring second-generation entrepreneur and family business stories", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 149-170.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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