Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

Family Microenterprises: Strategies for Coping with Overlapping Family and Business Demands
Vol. Volume 5, Number 2 August/2000

Nancy J. Miller, Mary Winter, Margaret A. Fitzgerald, and Jennifer Paul
The family owned and operated microenterprise constitutes an alternative system of income production for many individuals and their families. This study addresses the overlapping fields of family and business and the adjustment strategies that are used to manage the two when times are hectic in either the family or the business. First, comparisons are made between adjustment strategies used by managers of the family businesses and managers of their households. For 87 of the 137 family microenterprises, the business manager also performed the role of the household manager. Overall findings suggest a greater likelihood of family adjustment to business needs than business adjustment to family needs with those performing two roles less inclined or able to shift or put off the business work to spend time with family than those performing only one role. Additional analyses of household and business adjustment strategy use were conducted involving comparisons based on business size, location, and type. Suggestions are offered for consultants and academicians who work with and study developing microenterprises.

Keywords: Microenterprise, entrepreneurship, household resource management, family business management, work-family conflict, adjustment strategies