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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2019

William Murithi, Natalia Vershinina and Peter Rodgers

The purpose of this paper is to offer a conceptual interpretation of the role business families play in the institutional context of sub-Saharan Africa, characterised by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a conceptual interpretation of the role business families play in the institutional context of sub-Saharan Africa, characterised by voids within the formal institutional setting. Responding to calls to take a holistic perspective of the institutional environment, we develop a conceptual model, showcasing the emergence of relational familial logics within business families that enable these enterprising organisations to navigate the political, economic and socio-cultural terrain of this institutional context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors undertake a review of extant literature on institutional theory, institutional voids, family business and business families and examine the relevance of these theoretical constructs in relation to the institutional environment of Sub-Saharan Africa. The authors offer tentative propositions within our conceptualisation, which the authors discuss in an inductive fashion.

Findings

The review underlines the relevance of informal political, economic and socio-cultural institutions within the sub-Saharan context, within which the family as an institution drives business families engagement in institutional entrepreneurship. In doing so, the authors argue business families are best positioned to navigate the existing Sub-Saharan African institutional context. The authors underline the critical relevance of the embeddedness of social relationships that underpin relational familial logic within the sub-Saharan African collectivist socio-cultural system.

Originality/value

By challenging the assumptions that institutional voids are empty spaces devoid of institutions, the authors offer an alternative view that institutional voids are spaces where there exists a misalignment of formal and informal institutions. The authors argue that in such contexts within Sub-Saharan Africa, business families are best placed to harness their embeddedness within extended family and community for entrepreneurial activity. The authors argue that family and business logics may complement each other rather than compete. The discussions and propositions have implications for future research on business families and more inclusive forms of family organisations.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Natalia Vershinina, Rowena Barrett and Peter McHardy

The purpose of this paper is to explore the logics that expert entrepreneurs use when faced with a critical incident threat.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the logics that expert entrepreneurs use when faced with a critical incident threat.

Design/methodology/approach

Attempts have been made to define “entrepreneurial logic”. This paper is influenced by Sarasvathy’s work on high-performance entrepreneurs, which finds that when faced with uncertainty entrepreneurs employ unconventional logic, and encompasses later research acknowledging social contexts where entrepreneurs operate. A typology of decision-making logics is developed, taking into account the situation of crisis. Seven expert entrepreneurs who faced crisis and, despite this, are still successfully operating businesses were interviewed. The paper develops a critical incidents methodology.

Findings

Experienced entrepreneurs were found to tend towards causal logic when “the stakes were high” and the decision may affect the survival of their business. They also weigh up options before acting and tend to seek advice from trusted “others” within their network before or after they have made a decision. A mixture of causal and intuitive logic is evident in decisions dealing with internal business problems.

Research limitations/implications

The decisions that entrepreneurs make shape and define their business and their ability to recover from crisis. If researchers can develop an understanding of how entrepreneurs make decisions – what information they draw upon, what support systems they use and the logic of their decision-making and rationalisation – then this can be used to help structure support.

Originality/value

By exploring decision-making through critical incidents we offer an innovative way to understand context-rich, first-hand experiences and behaviours of entrepreneurs around a focal point.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Benjamin Afreh, Peter Rodgers, Natalia Vershinina and Colin C. Williams

The purpose of this paper is to examine the multi-faceted contexts, which influence the motives, decisions and actions that underpin the mundane and lively entrepreneurial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the multi-faceted contexts, which influence the motives, decisions and actions that underpin the mundane and lively entrepreneurial practice of migrant youth entrepreneurs (MYEs) within a developing economy context. Moreover, the paper explores the under-researched linkages between migration and informal entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

Inductive, qualitative field data from a migrant destination, the Ashanti Region in Ghana are analysed, comprising 15 interviews with MYEs who hail from 12 communities in the three Northern Regions of Ghana. The authors introduce a narrative-based approach, which has previously been under-employed within empirical studies of informal entrepreneurship.

Findings

The findings showcase the complex array of opportunities and challenges, which influence individual decisions to engage in informal entrepreneurship. The findings highlight the importance of not only economic rationales but also non-economic rationales for engaging in informal entrepreneurship. Such rationales emerge from the legitimation of informal practices, the social embeddedness of migrant youth within family and community networks and the precarious nature of informal entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

The fine-grained discussion of the findings contributes explicitly to theory by underscoring the diversity of informal entrepreneurship activities. Theoretically, the article demonstrates the need to look beyond narrow economic explanations for why individuals engage in informal entrepreneurship. Taking a more holistic approach to explaining motivations for engaging in informal entrepreneurship, enables more nuanced understandings of the importance of non-economic rationales for individuals, located in specific contextual settings.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Natalia Vershinina and Peter Rodgers

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Natalia Vershinina, Kassa Woldesenbet Beta and William Murithi

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise how various value dimensions of Harambee, the Kenyan culture, affect the fostering of entrepreneurial behaviours…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise how various value dimensions of Harambee, the Kenyan culture, affect the fostering of entrepreneurial behaviours. Theoretically, we draw upon perspectives that view culture as a toolkit and use cultural variables provided by Hofstede to examine the links between national culture and entrepreneurial endeavours in an African context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on review and synthesis of accessible secondary sources (published research, country-specific reports, policy documents, firm-level empirical evidences, etc.) on the topic and related areas to understand and advance research propositions on the link between enterprising efforts and national culture specific to the Kenyan context.

Findings

Several theoretical propositions are offered on themes of collective reliance, social responsibility, enterprising, resource mobilisation and political philanthropy to establish relationships, both positive and negative, between values of Harambee and entrepreneurial behaviours. Further, the study provides initial insights into how actors blend both collectivistic and emergent individualistic orientations and display collective identity in the process of mobilising resources and engaging in entrepreneurship.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual framework presented bears a considerable relevance to the advancing theory, policy and practice associated with the national culture and entrepreneurial behaviour in the African context and has potential to generate valuable insights.

Originality/value

This original study provides a springboard for studying the relationship between African cultural context and entrepreneurial behaviours.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Natalia Vershinina and Yulia Rodionova

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues in studying hidden populations, with particular focus on methodology used to investigate ethnic minority entrepreneurs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues in studying hidden populations, with particular focus on methodology used to investigate ethnic minority entrepreneurs who illegally run their businesses in the UK. In this paper, on reflection, the authors look at what issues should be considered before engaging with such communities, as we identify current approaches and evaluate their merits.

Design/methodology/approach

Certain methodological problems are faced by researchers working with hidden populations, and this paper explores these using a sample of Ukrainian illegal self‐employed construction workers operating in London. Semi‐structured interviews with 20 Ukrainians showcase the issues raised and help illustrate the limited applicability of some commonly used research methods to ethnic minority entrepreneurship studies. The authors used an intermediary to help gain access to these illegal migrants in order to satisfy the sensitive issues of this vulnerable group of respondents.

Findings

The authors analyse the ethical considerations, problems and issues with access to such data, discuss early and more recent sampling methodologies and the ways to estimate the size of hidden population. This paper, hence, establishes the state‐of‐the‐art approaches in this field and proposes potential improvements in achieving representativeness of the data. Using the Ukrainian illegal self‐employed construction workers as an example, this paper evaluates the choices made by the researchers.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is to showcase the methodological issues emerging when studying hard‐to‐reach groups and to emphasise the limited applicability of some methods to research on hidden populations.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 31 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 33 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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