Women learning business leadership: Journeys in the family firm

Mary Barrett, Ken Moores

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


The family-business literature has thus far not devoted much attention to understanding female vantage points in family firms. A few small-scale studies, notably Poza and Messer (2001) and Curimbaba (2002), describe the varying roles that women adopt, but without explaining why they adopt such roles. Our research aims to examine the career progression of women leaders in family businesses, specifically how they progressively learn skills and competencies. In our book (Moores and Barrett, 2002) we found that successful family firm CEOs encountered a series of unique paradoxes. Exploring, understanding and perhaps managing these paradoxes took them on a learning journey to leadership in which they progressively learnt business (L1), learnt our business (L2), learnt to lead our business (L3), and learnt to let go our business (L4). Here we seek to establish whether and how the journey of women family business leaders follow different pathways. This chapter focuses on the 'long march, short journey' cases, focusing on women who have achieved senior positions in the family firm, but whose experiences differ greatly in other way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulturally-sensitive models of gender in family business
Subtitle of host publicationA Compendium using the Globe Paradigm
EditorsV Gupta
Place of PublicationHyderabad
PublisherIcfai University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)8131412695
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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