Toward a Theory of Family Social Capital in Wealthy Transgenerational Enterprise Families

Maarten B.T. de Groot*, Oli R. Mihalache, Tom Elfring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over generations, decaying family social capital is a primary cause of enterprise wealth loss in enterprise families that share ownership of multiple entities and multiple assets. We answer recent calls to uncover the origins of family social capital by studying seven old, wealthy, and large transgenerational enterprise families. We complement existing research on wealth creation through entrepreneurship by offering a deeper understanding of how family social capital is enhanced in transgenerational enterprise families. Our inductive qualitative study finds that enterprise family social capital appears to be enhanced by family governance, family learning, family identity, and physical grounding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-192
JournalEntrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • enterprise family
  • enterprise preservation
  • family social capital
  • transgenerational
  • wealth

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