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Entrepreneurial decision-making and family social capital

Cizhi Wang (College of Business Administration, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing, China)
Giulia Flamini (Department of Management and Law, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy)
Kai Wang (College of Business Administration, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing, China)
Rong Pei (School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China)
Chiyin Chen (Glorious Sun School of Business and Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, China)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 9 July 2020

Issue publication date: 20 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to adopt a collective perspective in the study of entrepreneurial decision-making processes and empirically analyse the ways in which social relationships between family members can shape their collective entrepreneurial decision-making behaviour (ED).


This paper considers the family social capital (FSC) in inducing overall conformity to the focal family member's decision to exploit an opportunity. In terms of the seminal construct of social capital, the authors propose three FSC dimensions that can be used to induce conformity: structural, relational and cognitive dimensions. Then, the authors design questionnaires to collect data pertaining to the relationships between the family members' ED and the FSC. Finally, the authors collect 152 valid questionnaires from Chinese family firms.


The data analysis consists of two parts. The first section of this paper analyses conformity by testing the discriminant validity of models. Regression analysis is then used to test the relationship between family members' ED and the FSC. Significant relationships between the cognitive dimension of FSC and the entrepreneur's decision-making are found.


The research contributes towards academic literature concerning both entrepreneurship and social capital. On the one hand, this paper is one of the rare pieces of entrepreneurial research that responds to the call for the study of entrepreneurship from a collective perspective. On the other hand, our study quantitatively tests the impact of FSC at a multidimensional level. It provides conclusions regarding the social influence of other family members and provides insights into social capital by studying entrepreneurship from a social/community perspective.



This research was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Beijing Municipal Colleges and Universities in Capital University of Economics and Business (Grant XRZ2020012), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 71702114), Beijing Social Science Fund Project (Grants 18GLC076 and 18GLA003), and Project for the Top Young Team consisting of Outstanding Talents of Beijing (Grant 2017000026833TD01).


Wang, C., Flamini, G., Wang, K., Pei, R. and Chen, C. (2021), "Entrepreneurial decision-making and family social capital", Management Decision, Vol. 59 No. 5, pp. 938-952.



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