The Role of Family Members In Entrepreneurial Networks: Beyond the Boundaries of the Family Firm


  • Alistair R. Anderson,

  • Sarah L. Jack,

  • Sarah Drakopoulou Dodd


Research has traditionally concentrated on formal kin involvement in the family business. This study investigates if, to what extent, and how entrepreneurs capitalized on resources embedded in the family, but beyond the formal traditionally defined boundaries of the family firm. Employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches, the study finds that about one-quarter of our sample's entrepreneurial network ties were kin, and that most of these worked outside the formal family firm. These ties provided a range of very important resources, both professional and affective in nature. Such beneficial ties extend the family firm without incurring the typical hazards of external linkages.