The role of women entrepreneurs in corporate family firms : Case study evidence from Nigeria

Koroye, Braye and Dada, Lola and Discua Cruz, Allan (2023) The role of women entrepreneurs in corporate family firms : Case study evidence from Nigeria. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis’ topic, “The Role of Women Entrepreneurs in Corporate Family Firms: Case Study Evidence from Nigeria,” draws its understanding from three theoretical perspectives: the resourcebased view, liberal feminism, and altruism. The study seeks to understand why and how women entrepreneurs in corporate family firms influence their family and firm’s harmony, growth, and development. This study introduces polygamy – a form of marriage involving multiple partners – as a novel dimension in the family firm concept. The polygamous approach is alien in Europe and several other regions, but it is practised in Africa (in this case, Nigeria). This study brings this perspective to the literature to buttress the Nigerian view of family and firms. The argument is that polygamy is endemic, deeply rooted, and not a dying practice in Nigeria. Therefore, the lack of studies on the role of women entrepreneurs, specifically within the polygamous family structure, poses a research gap. To address this research gap, the study examines the success attained by women entrepreneurs and how it can be replicated and contribute to the development of their family firms, i.e., private universities, and Nigeria at large. In this vein, this study has examined forty-two research participants: seventeen males and twenty-five females (consisting of family firm members). This study uses a case study methodology involving data collection via interviews, observations, and documentation from family-owned and managed private universities in Nigeria. The findings from this study reveal that women are innovative, hard-working, and have distinguished themselves by building lasting corporate entrepreneurial legacies in polygamous family firms. The findings also demonstrate that polygamy encourages women to be independent towards corporate ventures, which inspires their entrepreneurial sustainability and capabilities in polygamous family firms. Finally, as evidenced by this study, women are entrepreneurial in the Schumpeterian sense, which encourages gender parity, increases their entrepreneurial participation, influences their sense of identity, and builds entrepreneurial orientation in polygamous family firms. This study provides theoretical and practical implications, a future research agenda, and recommendations to encourage more studies of women’s entrepreneurship in polygamous family firms.

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20 Feb 2023 12:10
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07 Jun 2024 23:35