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Family entrepreneurship in communities: social context and the creation of social value.

Cunningham, James; Seaman, Claire


Claire Seaman


For some time now, studies in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity have acknowledged the importance of context. This growing realisation that entrepreneurial behaviour does not happen in a vacuum, but is instead informed by the structures, relationships and social settings which surround it has inspired a number of insights in the areas of social enterprise, rural entrepreneurs, gender and localised differences in perspectives of entrepreneurship. The implications for research work are plenty and challenge the very ontological and epistemological roots of our collective endeavour. The context of the entrepreneurial event should not in itself be seen as a fixed a priori situational factor, something which can be controlled for and descriptively detailed as a limitation of the study. The disciplines of sociology and anthropology instead tell us that context is performative in nature, it directly influences, generates, colours and even extinguishes perceptions of and by the enterprise, and thus informs with great force how entrepreneurial activity takes place. The practice of business creation and development is something which continually reads from and interacts with the surrounding and situational context. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of viewing context as an informative feature of entrepreneurial activity, it that it opens us up to a world of diversity and heterogeneity in how businesses and individuals believe, behave and become. Each entrepreneurial event can be seen as a unique mix of the various contexts which have shaped it.


CUNNINGHAM, J. and SEAMAN, C. 2022. Family entrepreneurship in communities: social context and the creation of social value. Journal of enterprising communities: people and places in the global economy [online], 16(2), pages 189-195. Available from:

Journal Article Type Editorial
Acceptance Date Mar 3, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 3, 2022
Publication Date Mar 31, 2022
Deposit Date Apr 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 14, 2022
Journal Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy
Print ISSN 1750-6204
Electronic ISSN 1750-6204
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 189-195
Keywords Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial activity; Relationships; Social settings; Family firms
Public URL


CUNNINGHAM 2022 Family entrepreneurship (AAM) (289 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
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

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