spouse Composition

J Fam Econ Iss (2009) 30: 372–385

DOI 10. 1007/s10834-009-9169-4


Spousal Functions on Motivations for Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Study in New Zealand

Jodyanne Kirkwood

Published online: 26 September 2009

Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Summary Little is known about the role the spouse performs

in an entrepreneur's motivations for entrepreneurship. A

gender relative qualitative research is provided, based on

interviews with sixty-eight entrepreneurs (45 men and 23 women)

in New Zealand. A continuum of spousal support is

described—those whose spouses are co-founders, supportive husband and wife, and unsupportive/ambivalent spouses. Conclusions show that women and men tend to have several

expectations with their spouse when contemplating beginning a

business. A woman wants her hubby for business

advice, for support, and reassurance and looks at the

effects that starting a business might have on her spouse. A

man tends to assume support is forth-coming, and some guys

start businesses without precise spousal support. Contributions to theories of family organization are made. Keywords Co-founders Á Entrepreneurs Á Gender Á

Motivations Á Spouse Á Support


While the along with the business have been completely studied while two

separate systems, lately more awareness has been placed

on analyzing the importance with the interface between your

business as well as the family (Duncan et 's. 2000; Heck et 's.

2008; Hennon et ing. 1998; Masuo et approach. 2001). In fact , Dew

(2008) found family based businesses have featured strongly being a

theme in the review of exploration in the Journal of Family members

and Monetary issues in the last 20 years. This kind of study

T. Kirkwood (& )

Department of Supervision, School of Business,

School of Otago, Dunedin, Fresh Zealand

email: jodyanne. [email protected] ac. nz


centers on the position that business founders' husband and wife play with regards to their inspirations for entrepreneurship. In this

examine the term spouse is used while an umbrella term pertaining to wife,

hubby, partner, or maybe a de-facto partner. Spouses had been

the subject of research in relatives research; including, financial risk taking patterns (Jianakoplos and Bernasek 2008),

work-family equilibrium (Kirkwood and Tootell 2008), satisfaction with leisure time (Garcia et ing. 2007), add-on and control (Stewart and Danes 2001) and tensions, conflict and

satisfaction (Amarapurkar and Danes 2005). Similar

areas of research focused on the role of spouses inside

home, particularly in relation to period use studies regarding household management and housework duties (Winkler and

Ireland 2009). With respect to the entrepreneurship literature, the role of spouses upon motivations pertaining to entrepreneurship has received scant empirical attention (Maccauley 2006; Marshack 1994; Muske and Fitzgerald 2006; Poza

and Messer 2001). Even more empirical research has been called

for about just how different types of family involvement at the

start-up level influence the founder's performance (Sharma 2004), and for more understanding of the role with the support persons around internet marketers, particularly the variations between male and female entrepreneurs (Philbrick and Fitzgerald 2007).

While studies have focused on the girlfriends or wives of man

entrepreneurs, small research has checked out the position female entrepreneurs' spouses perform in entrepreneurship. This is of growing importance as more than recent years the incidence of

women's entrepreneurship continues to climb globally

(Langowitz and Minniti 2007). Researchers asked whether

there are undetectable men concealed from the public view who play a role in

business in the similar ways that females do in male-owned

businesses (Philbrick and Fitzgerald 2007). Just one

empirical study has seen women playing the major

role in the family business (in 11% of the ethnic family

L Fam Econ Iss (2009) 30: 372–385

businesses studied), with their husbands helping out

(Alcorso 1993). Calls have been designed to further research

the husband and wife of...

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