Founded in 2005 by Babson College (USA) in collaboration with six academic institutions in Europe, the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Project is a global network of researchers and professionals whose objective is to assist family businesses, particularly in the implementation of transgenerational transmission. The project will focus research work on the creation of an entrepreneurial spirit within families and on the development of capacities allowing new generations to develop and perpetuate the business over the long term. This project also examines the innovative capacities of families in family businesses. Dr. Rodrigo Basco, who holds a PhD in management science from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in Spain and is professor of management and entrepreneurship at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the most active members of the project. We asked him about the STEP Project and its contributions for research on family businesses and for families in business.
Céline Barrédy: How did you get involved in the STEP Project?Dr Rodrigo Basco: I was with Andrea Calabro at Witten University, the leading European Team (one of the first founders affiliated to STEP Project) and I decided to continue with the STEP Project. This project manages knowledge transfer to others really well. I was welcomed into the STEP team very early and contributed to enabling European institutions to join the project. I also coordinated research activities around that project. Then I became involved in the Step Global Board up to 2020.C. B.: What are the main research themes within the STEP Project?R. B.: The key point is entrepreneurship in business families. Family business is already a significant player, but we are trying to explore the business family. What are they doing? How do they organize themselves inside the family? In particular, as regards maintaining their competitiveness. We develop the entrepreneurship perspective from the family side. The resource perspective is particularly interesting. We work on the kinds of resources the family can bring to the entrepreneurship perspective, whether they are intangible or tangible. Concerning the former, we can highlight social capital, entrepreneurship culture, human capital, all of which can boost the entrepreneurial orientation of business families. These issues also need to shed light at first, on classical perspectives like corporate governance according to family size, to business size and the way resources can be organized…
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