Dr. Sheila Hanson paper accepted into the Journal of Family Business Strategy

Sheila Hanson

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sheila Hanson, Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Entrepreneurship for her recent paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Family Business Strategy (JQL Level 3).

Title: “Relational processes in family entrepreneurial culture and resilience”

Authors: Sheila Hanson (University of North Dakota), Heather Hessel and Sharon Danes (University of Minnesota)


The study purpose is to empirically demonstrate a theoretically grounded method for elucidating the underlying family relational processes that lead to resiliency that sustains an entrepreneurial culture across generations. The study is grounded in Sustainable Family Business and Contextual Family Therapy theories. Data were multi-informant (parents, adult child) and multi-method (videotaped business decision team interviews with verifying individual member interviews) allowing for coding of both verbal content and affect within interactions. Relational ethics, fairness, and justice in family relationships were used to interpret observable family behaviors indicative of underlying family resilience processes. The state of the family ledger, an overall accounting of the balance of give and take in family relationships over time, was assessed to better understand family resiliency (a capacity from which to draw to facilitate adaptation to change or adversity) and ultimately transgenerational transfer of entrepreneurial culture. Results indicate that entrepreneurial culture is influenced by relational ethics and the family ledger and may be altered across generations. Specifically, a more balanced ledger representing a higher degree of resiliency (a protective factor) opens the door to access and use of other family capital (financial, human, other social capital) that feeds and sustains an entrepreneurial culture across generations.

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