Business practices within South Asian family and non-family firms: a comparative study

McPherson, Mark (2010) Business practices within South Asian family and non-family firms: a comparative study. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research., 16 (5). pp. 389-413. ISSN 1355-2554

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate differences/similarities in business practices of
second-generation South Asian entrepreneurs within family-owned firms, in comparison to their
second-generation counterparts managing and running their own business.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws its theoretical underpinning via a number of
concepts relevant to the South Asian business experience. To understand this, investigation was
conducted within a phenomenological paradigm. In total, 48 semi-structured interviews were carried
out with three South Asian groups. Namely, first- and second- generation Sikh, Hindu and Pakistani
Muslim entrepreneurs from both family and non-family owned micro-small businesses situated within
the Greater London area. In addition, nine businesses from all three ethnic groups were selected to
complete the multiple (comparative) case-study stage of the research.

Findings: Similarities and differences between second-generation entrepreneurs within family and
non-family businesses (NFBs) are evident. For instance, a majority of the respondents (from family and
non-family businesses) considered entrepreneurship as something to embrace, and not as a means of
economic survival. A minority of the respondents within FBs were pushed into entrepreneurship, as
such, this has had an impact on the father-son relationship in a negative way. Second-generation
respondents from FBs, in comparison to their counterparts within NFBs, were more likely to have
decision-making pertaining to the business impeded by the father. Furthermore, respondents from FBs
were moving back into the said business, whereas, respondents from NFBs were developing
businesses more akin to their prior employment experience.

Practical implications: The paper offers insights into the behaviour and business practices of
second-generation South Asian entrepreneurs from family and non-family, so adding a further
dimension to our understanding of this particular group.

Originality/value: The paper will be of value to policy makers, practitioners and researchers alike,
is it sheds light on motives, prior experience and class resources the second-generation bring to

Keywords: Family firms, Small enterprises, Entrepreneurs, Business policy, Ethnic groups,
United Kingdom

Paper type: Research paper

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 23948
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Mark Mcpherson
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 16:42
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2018 16:42

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