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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2021

Margarida Rodrigues and Mário Franco

The change in couples' personal ambitions concerning their careers, how they look after their family and how they deal with the work–family balance has revolutionized…

Abstract

Purpose

The change in couples' personal ambitions concerning their careers, how they look after their family and how they deal with the work–family balance has revolutionized their position in the business world, specifically in family businesses. When couples embark on a joint business, the authors have copreneurial couples or copreneurs, the concept having existed for decades. This study provides mapping and a broad, holistic bibliometric analysis of copreneurs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presented here followed the literature review for scientific mapping of the topic under discussion.

Findings

The results obtained show that the vast literature on copreneurs refers to other social sciences rather than business and management. Furthermore, final refining of the initial research made indicates that the literature in these areas is still minimal, justifying the need for this study. Also shown is the need to continue to study copreneurs, as fundamental economic actors in the business sector.

Practical implications

One of the study's main contributions lies in building a theoretical framework to explore empirically the success or failure of this business typology. The topics identified in this analysis highlighted copreneurial teams, copreneurial business and copreneurs' success factors.

Originality/value

The review presented here is wide-ranging and holistic, showing there is a shortage of research on the link between family business and copreneurs, whose conceptual difference lies in the construct of business succession since most researchers have studied psychological aspects, these couples' marital relationships and the factors contributing to conflict between work and domestic responsibilities.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 March 2021

Romana Dreyer and Christine Busch

The purpose of this paper is to understand how experienced copreneurs of small family business (SFB), as the smallest unit and heart of their family business (FB), may…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how experienced copreneurs of small family business (SFB), as the smallest unit and heart of their family business (FB), may create work-life balance (WLB). Copreneurs evince highly intertwined life-domains and often struggle to respite while managing their high business demands.

Design/methodology/approach

In this couple interview study with 18 experienced copreneurial couples of SFBs (N = 36), we investigated strategies copreneurs use to create their WLB by merging a resource perspective (Hobfoll, 1989) with the concept of WLB crafting (Sturges, 2012).

Findings

A key strategy in copreneurial couples was the structural establishment of microdomains, such as periods of personal resource recreation within a macrodomain (e.g. work) via individual physical and cognitive WLB crafting. Copreneurs used relational WLB crafting with a strong emphasis on seeking support and mainly to protect their microdomains by relying on their spouses as boundary keepers. Women more often expressed the importance of health and time for respite, as cognitive WLB crafting, and they were more active in creating (joint) recovery opportunities. Dyadic WLB crafting strategies were used when goal congruency for work or private activities was high.

Originality/value

This research applies WLB crafting research to the smallest unit of SFBs, namely copreneurs. The study provides in-depth insights into the strategies copreneurs of SFB use to create a satisfying WLB.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Nancy Jurik, Alena Křížková and Marie Pospíšilová (Dlouhá)

This paper aims to utilize a mixed-embeddedness approach to examine how state welfare policies, employment conditions and gender norms shape orientations to divisions of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to utilize a mixed-embeddedness approach to examine how state welfare policies, employment conditions and gender norms shape orientations to divisions of business and domestic labor among Czech copreneurs, i.e. romantic couples involved in businesses together.

Design/methodology/approach

Twelve copreneur couples were interviewed; male and female partners were interviewed separately. Women’s narratives are centered in analyzing motivations for business, divisions of labor, orientation to business/family and state policies. After detailing women’s orientations, correspondence with male partner orientations is considered.

Findings

Analysis reveals how state policies, employment conditions and gender norms inform copreneur narratives about business and family life in the Czech Republic. Female respondents expressed three orientations: business as opportunity, business for family and business/home as teamwork. Women tended both business and family, whereas most male partners focused exclusively on business.

Research limitations/implications

Although the small, purposive sample was not representative of all Czech copreneurs, findings detail how social context frames business/family dynamics.

Practical implications

This mixed-embeddedness perspective demonstrates how gender norms, state taxation and welfare shape the organization of Czech copreneurships and can support or discourage women’s entrepreneurship.

Social implications

Mechanisms producing gender inequality in copreneur businesses are revealed.

Originality/value

Findings identify connections between female copreneur business/family orientations and the context of gender regimes, state policy and employment practices in a post-socialist country. Also revealed are changing orientations across family and business stages.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Katherina Kuschel and María-Teresa Lepeley

Latin American investors are commonly suspicious of investing in copreneurial ventures (a male and female couple, integrated as a working team) and show even higher levels…

Abstract

Purpose

Latin American investors are commonly suspicious of investing in copreneurial ventures (a male and female couple, integrated as a working team) and show even higher levels of uncertainty when the start-ups are led by a female founder. The purpose of this paper is to address issues related to women as leaders in copreneurial tech ventures and analyses whether these ventures are growth-oriented or conform to limited partnerships aimed primarily to meet their living standards.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, inductive and constructive approach was required for addressing the research question. Three copreneurial women and two divorced copreneurs were interviewed. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze data and emerging themes.

Findings

Copreneurial teams that work in the technology industry have similar and complementary levels of education and skills development. After three years working together, each partner becomes well aware of mutual skills and strengths. This allows them to define their respective roles. Both divide work and family, and have developed a level of mutual trust and commitment that is essential to move forward. Commonly they show workaholic tendencies with a high rational underpinning. All of these factors strengthen collaboration and in many instances this business liaison can remain intact despite a breakdown in the partners’ sentimental relationship. Additional findings show that their growth orientation takes multiple structures.

Practical implications

This study provides information that can help investors make decisions to support copreneurial teams that optimize from the use of diverse talents of female and male partners.

Originality/value

Although representing an increasingly common type of start-up team, copreneurship in technology has not yet capture much attention of scholars as case study in family business research.

Objetivo

Inversionistas latinoamericanos usualmente prefieren no invertir en negocios de coemprendedores (parejas en una relación amorosa y de negocio) y sienten incertidumbre cuando esos equipos están liderados por mujeres. Este artículo aborda los asuntos relacionados a mujeres que lideran equipos coemprendedores en negocios tecnológicos y analiza si ellas buscan el crecimiento de su negocio o se limitan a sustentar el estilo de vida.

Diseño/metodología/aproximación

Responder a la pregunta de investigación requirió una aproximación cualitativa e inductiva. Tres coemprendedoras y dos coemprendedoras divorciadas fueron entrevistadas. Se analizaron los datos y crearon temas emergentes siguiendo la teoría fundamentada.

Resultados

Equipos coemprendedores en la industria tecnológica tienen niveles de educación y habilidades similares y, a la vez, complementarios. Luego de tres años trabajando juntos, ya conocen las habilidades y fortalezas de la pareja. Esto los ayuda a definir mejor sus roles. Ambos tienen un estilo segmentador que divide trabajo y familia.

Desarrollaron un alto nivel de confianza y compromiso que es esencial para seguir adelante.

Son normalmente equipos trabajólicos y muy racionales. Todos estos factores fortalecen la colaboración y permite incluso que el negocio persista por sobre la relación amorosa.

Además, estos equipos están orientados al crecimiento, y de diversas maneras.

Implicaciones prácticas

El estudio incluye información dirigida a facilitar la toma de decisiones de inversionistas respecto a cómo invertir apoyando a los equipos coemprendedores para optimizar la diversidad de talentos de la pareja.

Originalidad/valor

A pesar que es cada vez más común ver coemprendedores como configuración de equipo de start-up, el tema no ha recibido mayor atención de académicos como estudio de casos en la investigación en empresas familiares tecnológicas.

Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Jill R. Helmle, Isabel C. Botero and David R. Seibold

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that influence perceptions of work-life balance among owners of copreneurial firms. Research on work-life balance in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that influence perceptions of work-life balance among owners of copreneurial firms. Research on work-life balance in the context of family firms has focussed on the effects that perceptions of balance can have on the emotional well-being of business owners and performance of the firm. Less attention has been given to understanding the factors affecting an owner's perceptions of work-life balance. This paper not only explores the antecedents of perceptions of work-life balance but does so with copreneurs, or couples who own and manage a firm.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study were collected using surveys. In all, 210 copreneurs with businesses in nearly 20 industries answered questions about their perceptions of work-life balance, work-life conflict (WLC), life-work conflict, communication practices, characteristics of their jobs, and spousal support.

Findings

WLC was negatively related to perceptions of work-life balance. Job involvement, flexibility at work, and permeability of communication were significantly related to perceptions of WLC. Interestingly spousal support did not affect individual perceptions of life-work balance, but had a direct influence on perceptions of work-life balance.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was not randomly selected, and participants were surveyed at only one point in time. Notwithstanding these limitations, the findings have implications for advancing research and theory in the areas of family business, work-life issues, and communication. While the paper focus on copreneurial firms, the findings may have implications for family firms and co-founded ventures.

Practical implications

The potential benefits of copreneurs’ increased awareness of these findings (from readings or through coaching) are important given prior research demonstrating that family to work conflict and work to family conflict affect the emotional well-being of family business owners, their satisfaction with work, and firm performance.

Originality/value

This project offers two important contributions to research in family firms. First, it focusses on copreneurial firms as a unique type of family firm which has the potential to shed light on the differences between family firms. Second, results from this study provide a picture of the predictors of work-life balance for couples who are firm owners.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2018

Mário Franco and Patricia Piceti

The purpose of this paper is to understand the family dynamics factors and gender roles influencing the functioning of copreneurial business practices, to propose a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the family dynamics factors and gender roles influencing the functioning of copreneurial business practices, to propose a conceptual framework based on these factors/roles.

Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, a qualitative approach was adopted, through the analysis of seven businesses created by copreneurial couples in an emerging economy – Brazil. Data were obtained from an open interview with each member of the selected couples who are in charge of firm management.

Findings

The empirical evidence obtained shows that the most important factors for successful copreneurial family businesses are professionalization, dividing the couple’s tasks and business management. Trust, communication, flexibility and common goals are other essential relational-based factors for the good functioning of this type of family business and stability in the personal relationship.

Practical implications

It is clear that professionalization and the separation of positions and functions are fundamental for a balance between business management and the couple’s marital life. When couples are in harmony and considering factors such as trust, communication and flexibility (relational-based factors), the firm’s life-cycle and business success become real and more effective.

Originality/value

From the family dynamics factors and gender roles, this study focused on one of the most important and integrated family firm relationships, copreneurial couples. As there is little research on the heterogeneity of family firms runs specifically by copreneurial couples, this study is particularly important and innovative in the context of a developing economy, such as Brazil. Based on empirical evidence, this study was proposed an integrative and holistic framework that shows the functioning of copreneurial businesses practices.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Catherine R. Smith

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…

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Abstract

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.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 15 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Laura Galloway, John W. Sanders, Jo Bensemann and Alexei Tretiakov

This article explores the small unit of family business – being in business with one's spouse – in Scotland and New Zealand. With reference to social network theory, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores the small unit of family business – being in business with one's spouse – in Scotland and New Zealand. With reference to social network theory, the research explores if the strong married relationship enhances business or inhibits it due to a hypothesised limiting effect on access to external networks. The paper thus measures the impact of networks on copreneurial business performance and explores perceptions of the copreneurial experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The research applies a mixed methodology. First, a quantitative sample of 301 small firms in Scotland and New Zealand is tested for variation in performance and social network reach between copreneurial, other types of family firms and firms with no family links. Thereafter, a qualitative study explores the experience of 101 copreneurs in the two countries, to which a thematic analysis is applied.

Findings

Networks are shown to be central influences on performance, but the paper finds no performance or network reach variation between copreneurial and other business. Nevertheless, copreneurship is perceived both positively and negatively by practitioners and testimonies include explicit reference to strategies to manage home/work tensions.

Originality/value

The paper contributes new data on performance in copreneurial firms in two international locations. Viewed through a social network theory lens, the research shows the utility of networks to business, family or otherwise. The paper also shows that the work/family interface in copreneurial firms is perceived both as an advantage and as a challenge and so requires careful management.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2007

Cindy Millman and Lynn M. Martin

The aim of the research was to explore the lead roles taken by women in some successful small copreneurial companies by studying similar small firms in one sector.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the research was to explore the lead roles taken by women in some successful small copreneurial companies by studying similar small firms in one sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Here, a multiple case study approach was selected, using narrative as a key focus, to explore the way the business had been set up, and its subsequent growth. The role of both partners was also explored, plus strategy, leadership and work: life balance.

Findings

New insights emerge about copreneurship where females take lead roles in management, both at start up and through company development. Female partners had an equal or overriding need for achievement to their partners, possessed great self confidence, perceived no barriers to women in business, took a strategic role in the firm from start up through development, drew salaries equal to their male partners and managed life at home and at work.

Research limitations/implications

The case study approach gives insights but other studies are needed, both quantitative and qualitative, to identify whether these were isolated examples or a common experience for copreneurial firms or for this sector. Two had left scientific jobs to start a food product business – an unexpected finding, requiring further study given the poor records for female participation in UK science professions.

Practical implications

The study provides insights for those agencies supporting business development by adding to the role models and images of women taking a lead role.

Originality/value

The study focuses on an under‐researched area. Here, the five female copreneurs perceive themselves – and are perceived – as entrepreneurs, taking a lead and developing strategic vision for the firm. This is an under‐researched aspect of female enterprise.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Jo Bensemann and C. Michael Hall

The paper seeks to explore the experiences of owners of rural tourism accommodation businesses in New Zealand within the framework of copreneurship. It aims to examine…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to explore the experiences of owners of rural tourism accommodation businesses in New Zealand within the framework of copreneurship. It aims to examine roles within copreneurial rural tourism businesses and describes and evaluates women's experiences of entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

The method of the research is a postal survey of rural tourism accommodation business owners complemented by in‐depth interviews with women in copreneurial business relationships. Triangulation of data sources and methods, combining qualitative and quantitative techniques enables a rich understanding of copreneurial expectations, roles and responsibilities and of women's experiences specifically.

Findings

The paper finds that the rural tourism accommodation sector in New Zealand is characterised by lifestylers and copreneurs running their businesses as a “hobby” and that non‐economic, lifestyle motivations are important stimuli to business formation. The paper also finds that any perception of copreneurship as a tool for enabling women to become freed from traditional gender roles may not equal the reality as a gendered ideology persists even through copreneurial relationships in rural tourism. Copreneurial couples appear to engage in running the accommodation business using traditional gender‐based roles mirroring those found in the private home.

Originality/value

The paper goes some way toward addressing the fact that there exists an underexplored and unarticulated feminine set of processes and behaviours in new venture production. In this research, women's voices were able to come through in both the survey and the interview research and their experiences are reported through their narratives. What is revealed is that a gendered ideology persists even through copreneurial relationships in rural tourism.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

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