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Resource Acquisition in Family Firms: The Role of Family-Influenced Human and Social Capital

  • Eric A. Clinton EMAIL logo , Salvatore Sciascia , Rishi Yadav and Frank Roche


Does family-influenced human capital (FIHC) facilitate or hamper resource acquisition Previous literature is scant and offers a negative portrayal of the family business context in this respect. We question this negative view of the phenomenon by arguing that FIHC may be beneficial to resource acquisition when family members are characterized by high bridging social capital. More specifically, we argue that family-influenced bridging social capital positively moderates the relationship between FIHC and resource acquisition, as bridging social capital reduces the disadvantages of FIHC allowing for the advantages to come to the fore. Our hypothesis is tested and confirmed on a data set of 241 family firms based in the Republic of Ireland.


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  1. 1

    The STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) Project is the first worldwide research initiative to focus on how the entrepreneurial and innovative mind-set within family businesses are passed from one generation to the next. Established in 2005 by the Institute for Family Enterprising at Babson College, the project is concerned with exploring the entrepreneurial process within family businesses. The research addresses the different requirements for long-term growth and productivity by partnering successful multi-generational family businesses from all over the world with leading business experts and academic institutions. The goal of the STEP Project is to comprehend the transgenerational potential of multi-generational family firms by investigating how they create new economic activity over time. The STEP Project seeks to investigate two research questions (i) how do business families generate and sustain entrepreneurial performance across generations and (ii) how does entrepreneurial performance relate to continuity and the transgenerational potential of family groups?

  2. 2

    Some scales have been developed by Dr. David Sirmon, whose help is gratefully acknowledged.

Published Online: 2013-02-23

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin / Boston

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