Family dynamics and relationships in female entrepreneurship:An exploratory study


Purpose Given the recent emergence of China as a dominant economy and internal changes that have led to the encouragement of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial initiatives, this paper explores whether family dynamics and relationships still play an important role in women's decision to become entrepreneurs. It aims to understand whether there has been a shift in family dynamics and decision-making that supports female entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach Given that the purpose of the study is to understand the role of relationships and family dynamics in their career choice, this study has taken a qualitative approach and carried out interviews with fifteen Chinese female entrepreneurs to understand the role of relationships and family dynamics in their career choice. Findings The results note that though there are changes in family dynamics that encourage female entrepreneurship, women still find it difficult to choose entrepreneurship as a career and there are unfair expectations that are placed on them. The expectations create undue stress which directly affects their ability to carry out their professional duties. The research suggests that to foster the development of female entrepreneurship, government agencies and local government bodies should provide further access to family support services that can facilitate women's empowerment and foster entrepreneurial thinking without feeling guilty about family commitments or unfair expectations. Originality/value Recent studies on women's entrepreneurship have focused on various facets. The role of family dynamics and relationships has long been studied in the context of female entrepreneurship. In emerging economies like China, family dynamics and relationships determine whether women can choose entrepreneurship as a career choice or not. However, there is very limited research on the topic, in the geographical context of China. Hence, this paper is among pioneer research addressing family dynamics in the female entrepreneurship debate in China.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Centre for Personal Financial Wellbeing
Additional Information: Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited. This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Uncontrolled Keywords: Family dynamics,Women,Entrepreneurship,Decision-making and relationships,China
Publication ISSN: 1877-8585
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 07:19
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2022 09:41
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Related URLs: https://www.eme ... -0013/full/html (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-08-24
Published Online Date: 2022-11-11
Accepted Date: 2022-11-01
Authors: Dewitt, Sunita
Jafari-Sadeghi, Vahid (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3083-6119)
Sukumar, Arun
Aruvanahalli Nagaraju, Roopa
Sadraei, Razieh
Li, Fujia


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