Insights on the Self-identity of the Descendants of Family Business Owners: The Case of German Unternehmerkinder

de Groote, Julia Katharina; Schell, Sabrina (2018). Insights on the Self-identity of the Descendants of Family Business Owners: The Case of German Unternehmerkinder. International journal of entrepreneurship and small business, 33(1), pp. 112-131. Interscience Publishers 10.1504/IJESB.2018.088684

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

The objective of the present research is to use social identity theory to elucidate the self-identity development of the descendants of family business owners and the consequences of this identity development. We develop a new understanding of the self-identity of family business heirs using a sample of 179 German and Swiss-German young adults. The starting point of our investigation is the German concept of Unternehmerkind. In German, Unternehmerkind, which literally translates to 'child of an entrepreneur', contains aspects of different identities and group memberships. We argue that self-identification as an Unternehmerkind is not only driven by the fact of being a descendent of a family business owner but also has a subjective component. We find that self-identification is related to individual and firm-related influence factors. Furthermore, we show that the positive relationship between the self-identification as an Unternehmerkind and the affective commitment to the firm is mediated by socialisation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Organization and Human Resource Management > Human Resource Management

UniBE Contributor:

de Groote, Julia Katharina and Schell, Sabrina


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations




Interscience Publishers




Nicole Oehrli

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2018 11:14

Last Modified:

04 Apr 2018 11:14

Publisher DOI:



Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback