Social Capital Essay

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ial capitals The Role of Family in Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Study Ed McKeever, PhD Researcher University of Aberdeen Business School Department of Management Studies, Edward Wright Building, Aberdeen, AB24 3QY Scotland, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)1224 273491 E-mail: e.mckeever@abdn.ac.uk Website: www.abdn.ac.uk/business Sarah L. Jack, Senior Lecturer, IEED, Lancaster University Management School Lorna McKee, Professor, University of Aberdeen Business School Type of Paper: Working Paper Purpose: Social capital is perceived to reside in the network connections and social interactions which take place amongst and between individuals. An entrepreneur’s social capital is not necessarily a homogenous commodity but instead is personalised to their particular and emergent context and those social relations in which he/she is embedded. Recently calls have been made for more understanding of the role of family in terms of entrepreneurship and how family members can operate as a “type” of social capital. However, an issue which arises is that within the literature views seem to differ concerning family involvement and entrepreneurship. Some studies illustrate that family members’ offer a range of benefits, others that family members’ can actually constrain entrepreneurial activity. This research project aims to explore if, how and when entrepreneurs use family members, the extent to which they are drawn on and how they contribute to the practice of entrepreneurship. Design/Methodology/Approach: To achieve these aims qualitative techniques have been used to generate data. More specifically, over a three year period semi-structured interviews have been carried out at various stages with fifteen entrepreneurs based within the North East of Scotland and Northern Ireland. A framework for data collection and analysis was developed from the literature

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