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The Personal Network of the Owner-Manager of a Small Family Firm: The Crucial Role of the Spouse


  • Tina Bratkovic

    (University of Primorska, Slovenia)

  • Bostjan Antoncic

    (University of Primorska, Slovenia)

  • Mitja Ruzzier

    (University of Primorska, Slovenia)


The paper investigates the personal network of an entrepreneur that owns a small family venture. The aim of the present paper is to examine the role of the spouse in the family firm’s networking. The research results show that the entrepreneur’s wife has a significant influence on the family firm’s network performing. She is present in all cliques that are formed in the entrepreneur’s network, which allows her to obtain information from different sources, and to influence the decision making process in the network. She is also well connected with other network members, and is crucial in the resource-information acquisition process for the entrepreneur’s firm. Furthermore, her central position in the network’s structure gives her the power to reach other network members more quickly. She can reach other persons at shorter path distances than the entrepreneur or other members, and is therefore an important information provider for the entrepreneur’s network. The key contribution of this paper is the finding that the spouse can be as important as or even more important than the entrepreneur in the resource and information provision for the firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Tina Bratkovic & Bostjan Antoncic & Mitja Ruzzier, 2009. "The Personal Network of the Owner-Manager of a Small Family Firm: The Crucial Role of the Spouse," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 7(2), pages 171-190.
  • Handle: RePEc:mgt:youmgt:v:7:y:2009:i:2:p:171-190

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hoang, Ha & Antoncic, Bostjan, 2003. "Network-based research in entrepreneurship: A critical review," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 165-187, March.
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    More about this item


    entrepreneur; personal network; family firm; resource acquisition; information acquisition;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship


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