Students climbing the entrepreneurial ladder:Family social capital and environment-related motives in hospitality and tourism

Campopiano, Giovanna and Minola, Tommaso and Sainaghi, Ruggero (2016) Students climbing the entrepreneurial ladder:Family social capital and environment-related motives in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28 (6). pp. 1115-1136. ISSN 0959-6119

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PurposeThis paper aims to address the research question of whether family social capital affects the degree of engagement in the entrepreneurial process in the case of hospitality and tourism (H&T) new ventures, and how this relates to environment-related motivations. In particular, drawing on a process-based approach of individuals’ engagement in entrepreneurship, this paper provides new insights into the relationship between the perception of support by the family through the provision of bonding and bridging social capital and the decision to engage in the entrepreneurial process. The main contribution consists in the role of “following an environmental mission” that emerges as a motivation mediating the relationship between family resource provision and entrepreneurial engagement in the H&T industry. Design/methodology/approachFor this exploratory study, we rely on cross-sectional observations from 2,923 individuals gathered through the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students Survey, which collects information on career choices and preferences of university students around the globe. Given our focus on the early engagement process in entrepreneurship and the role of embeddedness in family structures, the use of a sample of young potential entrepreneurs such as students is particularly appropriate. FindingsThis study suggests that the family acts as a fundamental institution fostering entrepreneurship, both through the provision of bonding and bridging social capital, and the nurturing of attitudes toward the environment. The results indicate that, in the H&T industry, entrepreneurship can be a valuable means to pursue such attitude and is perceived as a way to proactively contribute to undertake responsible environmental activities. Research limitations/implicationsThe study provides some implications for researchers, educators and policymakers interested in fostering entrepreneurial initiatives in the field, considering the role of a social-oriented mission as a vehicle to encourage profit-oriented entrepreneurial initiatives, and the importance of the family as a resource provider that fosters entrepreneurial engagement. The paper also discusses the strengths and limitations of this unique and broad cross-national sample. Originality/valueBecoming entrepreneurs is depicted as climbing an entrepreneurial “ladder”, whereby each individual’s engagement along this process depends on a number of antecedents. Family bridging and bonding social capital, as well as following an environmental mission, emerge as important factors in the H&T industry, thus extending previous literature on the distinctiveness of this industry.

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Journal Article
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International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
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16 Nov 2018 08:50
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:02