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Day, Angela M.
Family business daughters :
b the ties that bind and divide
h [electronic resource] /
by Angela M. Day.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 164 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to explore the relational contradictions experienced by family business daughters, and to investigate how they responded to these tensions. For this project, I interviewed twelve second and third generation family business daughters from eleven different family businesses. I utilized research procedures similar to grounded theory to analyze my interview transcripts. I examined relational tensions at both a personal level and an organizational level involving the larger work-family system. At a personal level, the connection/separation contradiction is significant to family business daughters and to their relationships with work and family. Many family business daughters helped at the family business because it was a means of emotional connection to family members who work there. Some family business daughters went so far as sacrificing their personal goals for family business goals.At an organizational level, one advantage of working at a family business was the flexibility it provided family business daughters to respond to family emergencies. Yet ironically, family business daughters were not granted the same accommodations for schedule demands associated with childcare. Family business daughters who were mothers often felt as if they could not be good mothers and productive workers. I explored the gendered basis of these different tensions, particularly as they arise from the ideology of separate spheres and patriarchal assumptions concerning the public-private divide and the assumed separation of family and work. I argue family business daughters have inherited a phenomenal work ethic that makes them successful business women yet they have also inherited the legacy of the founder's sexist attitudes toward motherhood and work.These sexist attitudes live in the organizational culture, and family business mothers adopt a separate spheres discourse in which they must choose between their work and their family. They address these relational tensions through the strategy of balancing family and work; however, this places family business daughters in a position where they feel as if they have to sacrifice in both the areas. I contend the family business should treat its members as "whole beings" by merging family into work.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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Advisor: Jane E. Jorgenson, Ph.D.
Dialectical relationship theory
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Family Business Daughters: The Ties that Bind and D ivide by Angela M. Day A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Communication College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Dr. Jane E. Jorgenson, Ph.D. Dr. Eric Eisenberg, Ph.D. Dr. Marilyn Myerson, Ph.D. Dr. A. David Payne, Ph.D. Date of Approval: June 17, 2008 Keywords: familiness, dialectical relationship theo ry, relational currency, gender, passion Copyright 2008 Angela M. Day
i Table of Contents Abstract iii Introduction: AlexandraÂ’s Story 1 Why Alexandra Never Has a Day Off 6 Research Aims 9 Rationale 10 Preview of Chapters 12 Chapter One: The Contradiction of Overlapping Famil y and Business Boundaries 14 Overlapping Boundaries: Contemporary Family Busines s Perspectives 16 Family Business Culture 18 The Unique Standpoint of Family Business Daughters 22 Problems with (In)Visibility in the Organization 2 3 Problems with (In)Visibility in the Family 26 Communication Centered Perspectives: Problematizing Boundaries 29 Problematizing Work-Life Relationships through Rela tional Dialectics 31 Contradiction 33 Change 34 Totality 34 Praxis 36 Critical Sensibility 37 Work Life Communication Perspectives 37 Chapter Two: Research Methodology 39 Recruitment of Participants 40 Participants 43 Data Collection Procedures 44 Data Analysis Procedures 48 My Personal Influence on the Data 50 Chapter Three: Family Business Daughters and Family Business Participation 52 Dialectical Tensions: Connection/Separation 54 Business Participation and the Dynamics of Inclusio n/Exclusion 55 Overlapping Roles of Â“Good WorkerÂ” and Â“Good Daught erÂ” 59 Business Participation as Relational Currency 63 Informal Family Business Participation 68 Handling the Tensions: Segmentation and Recalibrati on 72 Segmentation: Family Business goals vs. Personal go als 73
ii Recalibration: Reframing the Family Business as a P ersonal Resource 80 Recalibration: Career Family Business Daughters and Job Positions 83 Chapter 4: Gender and Informal Family Business Poli cies 88 Critical Sensibility and Gender Assumptions/Bias in Family Businesses 90 Gendered Assumptions and Sexism in the Family Busin ess 92 Founder Values: Passion, Gender and Organizational Norms 100 Passion: A Family Business Resource 102 Informal Gender Bias: Pro-Family Policies and AntiMommy Polices 105 Handling the Anti-Mommy Tension: Balance and Compro mise 116 Chapter Five: Theoretical Implications and Conclusi on 123 Theoretical Underpinnings: Unity and Consubstantial ity 124 Rationality/Emotionality as a Primary Tension 127 The Common Threads of Motherhood 131 Sharing My Story 132 References 137 Appendices 159 Appendix A: Interview Script 160 Appendix B: Table 1 Demographic Information 164
iii Family Business Daughters: The Ties that Bind and Divide Angela M. Day ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to explore the relational contradictions experienced by family business daughters, and to investig ate how they responded to these tensions. For this project, I interviewed twelve s econd and third generation family business daughters from eleven different family businesse s. I utilized research procedures similar to grounded theory to analyze my interview tran scripts. I examined relational tensions at both a personal level and an organizationa l level involving the larger work-family system. At a personal level, the connection/ separation contradicti on is significant to family business daughters and to their relati onships with work and family. Many family business daughters helped at the family bus iness because it was a means of emotional connection to family members who work ther e. Some family business daughters went so far as sacrificing their personal goals for family business goals. At an organizational level, one advantage of working at a family business was the flexibility it provided family business daughter s to respond to family emergencies. Yet ironically, family business daughters were not granted the same accommodations for schedule demands associated with childca re. Family business daughters who were mothers often felt as if they could not be good mothers and productive workers. I explored the gendered basis of th ese different tensions, particul arly as they arise from the
iv ideology of separate spheres and patriarcha l assumptions concerni ng the public-private divide and the assumed separation of family and work. I argue family business daughters have inherited a phenomenal work ethic that makes them successful business women yet they have also inherited the legacy of th e founderÂ’s sexist attitudes toward motherhood and work. These sexist attit udes live in the organizational culture, and family business mothers adopt a separate spheres discourse in which they must choose between their work and their family. They address these relational tensions th rough the strategy of balancing family and work; however, this pl aces family business daughters in a position where they feel as if they ha ve to sacrifice in both the ar eas. I contend the family business should treat its members as Â“whole bei ngsÂ” by merging family into work.
1 Introduction: AlexandraÂ’s Story ItÂ’s always been part of the family that everyone h elps out. Every day when Alexandra was a baby, her mother would tightly bund le her and take her to the family restaurant. At six Alexandra helped by wiping off t ables. In Hong Kong there wasnÂ’t much for her to do. She went to school, cleaned the restaurant, and relaxed. Now, her family lives in the United States and owns a buffet style restaurant that seats more customers than her family can handle. Alexandra lik ed living in Hong Kong. Pacing herself makes her feel in control. Campus is over an hour away. In the mornings she tries to leave home early to make it o n time. She feels funny walking into class after it has started. She feels funny walking into class every day. After sleeping during her classes, Alexandra drives as fast as she can to the restaurant. 351 times a year she helps her mother put sushi, dumplings, General TsoÂ’s Chicken, Moo goo gai pan, egg rolls, and many other foods her dad cooked on the b uffet. If she finishes early, she is allowed to take a small break before the customers come. Pacing herself makes her feel in control. Waiting o n customers without having a break makes her feel rushed. She feels rushed every day. At work she answers phones, takes orders, waitresses, helps runs deliveries, gr eets customers, refills customersÂ’ drinks, moderates her momÂ’s and dadÂ’s fights, cleans off ta bles, vacuums the floor, tries to study, cleans the bathroom, runs the register, says hi to the delivery driver (her boyfriend), and
2 helps break down the buffet. A couple of months ago she learned how to cook in the kitchen just in case any chefs are sick. All she wants is a day off. After working 12 hours, she gets home around midnight. While her mom and dad silently watch TV, she goes in her room and does homework. Some nights she pays the bills. The money doesnÂ’t come out of her pocket. ItÂ’s her parentÂ’s money. All she does is write the checks and make certain everything is paid on time. Sometimes she forgets. Like the time the cable got disconnected. Â“My shows. You are going to get it reconnected right?Â” her mom asked. Of course Alexandra made certain the cable was turned back on. Her pare nts donÂ’t fight while they watch shows from Hong Kong. Pacing herself makes her feel in control. She goes to sleep around one or two in the morning. She gets up and t ries to get to campus before her 8:00 class starts. She feels funny walking into class ev ery day. ItÂ’s always been part of the family that everyone h elps out. Her oldest brother works fulltime at a grocery store. Her other brothe r, in the army, is far away. Out of all three of them, he is the best cook. He would help i f he was close by. This leaves Alexandra, the youngest, to work with her parents. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM so Alexandra and her parents work every day. All three of them get there early to prep food, and sta y after it closes to clean. All she wants is a day off. ItÂ’s not so bad. It jus t sucks she has to work every day. Her parents have been working this whole year nonst op, except when they closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. SheÂ’d be happy if she c ould get one entire day off once a month. SheÂ’d actually get to have some fun. One day she went to an Amusement park,
3 but her mother called after she had been there for only one hour. Â“Alexandra,Â” her mother said, Â“weÂ’re really busy. You might want to come in now.Â” She lost her day off. Alexandra got so frustrated she told her mother, Â“I tÂ’s my day off and you always call me into work.Â” On her next day off, no one cal led. When she is not at work, she worries. She carries her phone with her all the tim e. Why hadnÂ’t they called? Certainly something was wrong. Alexandra checked in, Â“Mom. Wh y havenÂ’t you called me today?Â” Her mother seemed OK. Alexandra imagined th ey just sucked it up. ItÂ’s always been part of the family that everyone helps out. She is jealous. Her brother who works at a grocery store gets a day off every week and a week vacation once a year. One day she asked him, Â“How do you get to go to New York on your vacation, and IÂ’ve got to stay here an d work? Why donÂ’t you stay here and work? I wonÂ’t go to New York. IÂ’ll just stay here. If you need help at the restaurant just call me. Let me have this week off.Â” She carries h er phone with her all the time. That week, Alexandra wouldnÂ’t have to feel funny walking into class. She could take naps, do laundry, and write papers for school. Pacing hersel f makes her feel in control. All she wants is a day off. It just never happens. Her brother gets frustrated. Customers are walking in, both of the phones are ri nging, and heÂ’s got to swipe a credit card. He doesnÂ’t know what he is supposed to do fir st. Alexandra handles it better. Pacing herself makes her feel in control. She answers the phone, tells the walk-in customers to wait, and then she swipes the credit card so the cu stomers can pay. She even carries the phone in her apron so she can answer it wherever sh e is. She carries her phone with her all the time. Her brotherÂ’s restaurant skills are n ot as good as hers. Her parents feel better when sheÂ’s there. ItÂ’s always been part of the fami ly that everyone helps out.
4 At fourteen, Alexandra felt a hurt so deep even now she canÂ’t describe it. Her father told her, Â“Your mother and I are going to ge t divorced when you turn eighteen because I cannot live with her.Â” Her mother and fat her work so differently. Everything they fight about is the restaurant. When an order c omes in, AlexandraÂ’s mom wants AlexandraÂ’s dad to stop cooking the rice for the bu ffet and make the food for the customer. They wouldnÂ’t have a business without any customers. AlexandraÂ’s dad wants to finish what he is doing and then make the custom erÂ’s food. The customer can wait a few minutes. It takes a lot of time to stop and res tart things all day. Her mom and dad argue every day. Alexandra hears them yell, Â“I hate you. I hate you so much.Â” Pacing herself makes her feel in control. When Alex andra graduates from college, she can help with the bills. Then her parents can s ell the restaurant. Without the restaurant, her mom and dad wonÂ’t fight as much. It Â’s always been part of the family that everyone helps out. Her parents donÂ’t know the stra in the restaurant has put on her schooling. If they did, they might not let her work so much. She reminds herself that her mom and dad are not divorced because they need each other. She tells herself, Â“We still are together. We work together. They are still toge ther because they work together.Â” At 14, suddenly everything was on Alexandra. That y ear her family moved from Hong Kong to the United States. It was assumed that she would do all of the billing and translating. Her English has always been better tha n her brothers and her parents. When she was 15, her parents bought a house in Florida. She couldnÂ’t translate the mortgage contract to them. She would think, Â“My English isnÂ’ t good enough. IÂ’m so afraid that I will explain something wrong and mess up the whole thing. Like buying a whole house and paying more money than we supposed to.Â” All sh e wants is a day off.
5 Pacing herself makes her feel in control. At schoo l, there was a teacher Alexandra and her brothers called mom. Alexandra co nfided in her, Â“I am afraid because if I translate something wrong then I donÂ’t know wh atÂ’s going to happen. Like buying a house is a big thing. If they tell me something abo ut a fixed rate, what does that mean? I donÂ’t understand. What is he talking it about?Â” Ale xandra brought the letters and contracts to her, and the teacher they called mom t ranslated everything. Alexandra translated to her parents the contracts that were t ranslated to her. ItÂ’s always been part of the family that everyone helps out. All she wants is a day off. Now, when people try to contact her parents the 20year-old tells them, Â“IÂ’m the daughter. I translate everything for them. If you have any problem you have to contact me because my parents d onÂ’t speak any English.Â” In Hong Kong her mom and dad paid their own bills. Unless h er parents move back to Hong Kong she will always live near them. She tells herself, Â“We still are together. We work together.Â” Sometimes, Alexandra asks her brothers f or help. They tell her, Â“ThatÂ’s your job. YouÂ’ve been doing it since you were here.Â” Her boyfriend doesnÂ’t understand. He pleads with he r, Â“Just run away.Â” Â“No,Â” she firmly responds. He gets angry, Â“well you should get paid.Â” Â“Listen,Â” Alexandra replies, Â“they work because the y need to pay for the house and I live in the house too. I should help. TheyÂ’ve got to save their money now so when they are older and retire they can use that money.Â” Her boyfriend is confused, Â“I help my dad cut the g rass and I get paid for that. You should get paid.Â”
6 She gazes into his eyes, Â“Why would you get paid? Y ou live for free. You should help your family.Â” She explains to him, Â“The Americ an way of thinking and the Chinese way of thinking is very different. You live in the house too. Why donÂ’t you help clean? When your parents do your laundry you donÂ’t pay the m. Why are they paying you for cutting the grass?Â” Her cousins donÂ’t understand. They plead with her, Â“Why donÂ’t you just move out here and go to college with us. The three of us wil l be together.Â” She responds, Â“IÂ’ve got to help my parents.Â” Her older cousin challenges her, Â“Find another job and get paid money.Â” Alexandra answers back, Â“I live for free. They help me. TheyÂ’ve been feeding me, giving me a house. I have a responsibility to help them. I have to do this because I want to help my parents.Â” ItÂ’s always been part of the f amily that everyone helps out. Ever since Alexandra can remember, her parents have worked seven days a week. They work for her and her brothers, and have shown her that working hard in life is good. Even if she is unable to do everything she will try the best that she can. Why Alexandra Never Has a Day Off I have placed AlexandraÂ’s narrative first because i t exemplifies the commitment and dedication that family business daughters feel for their families. While reading and re-reading AlexandraÂ’s interview transcripts, I was struck by her emotional commitment to her parents and so I have attempted to convey it through her own words. I constructed AlexandraÂ’s story from my interviews with her. In s ome parts of her story, I paraphrased Alexandra while other parts, such as the repeated p hrases and the dialogue, are exact
7 citations although changed to read in third person. For example, AlexandraÂ’s actual quote is Â“All I want is a day off.Â” In the narrative, I w rote, Â“All she wants is a day off.Â” AlexandraÂ’s physical presence, as well as her story moved me. She would arrive at the interviews with wet hair and a tired voice. I always thought she must have rushed over after she had gotten out of the shower. She wa s only available to meet early on Friday mornings because that was the only weekday m orning she did not have class. I was concerned because the interviews took longer th an I anticipated, and I felt guilty for always making her late for her study group. I knew her most valuable resource was her time, and I thank her for sharing it with me. Pacin g herself makes her feel in control. All Alexandra wants is a day off; however, she is s o connected to her family and the family business she cannot separate her persona l goals from her parentsÂ’ goals. She is in an impossible position where an emotional commit ment to her family is the equivalent to a financial obligation. While on the one hand, t he complexity of AlexandraÂ’s life and circumstances are unique, her story highlights many similarities among children who grow up in a family business. Family business child ren are often a part of a unique family culture where family commitment is gauged through family membersÂ’ business contributions (Gersick et al. 1997). They experience an overlap of familial and company values (Garca-lvarez et al. 2002; Klein et al. 2005), and they see their parents in both domestic and work environments. As a result, family business children are typically knowledgeable and concerned about their familyÂ’s ec onomic status (McCann, 2007). Many family business children were Â“psychologically Â” in the family business since they were babies, and as a result, the compan y is central to their relationships with family members (Gersick et al. 1997). As a baby, Alexandra emotionally bonded wi th
8 her parents in the context of their family restaura nt, and since childhood, she has contributed economically to her family through her unpaid labor. Financial and emotional commitments become intertwined, and for Alexandra, taking a day off from work would create a distance between herself and her family. Gender complicates family business daughtersÂ’ relat ionships with their family business because it often determines how family bus iness children are regarded (Dumas, 1989a). Family business women are often treated as Â“helpersÂ” (Francis, 1999) and their contributions overlooked or treated as invisible (G illis-Donovan & Moynihan-Bradt, 1990; Rowe & Hong, 2000). Furthermore, the founderÂ’ s attitudes and values permeate the family business culture (Denison et al. 2004) and overlap with the family culture (Aronoff, 2004). Since the founder of most family b usinesses are men, they may inadvertently perpetuate a family and business cult ure that undermines and undervalues their daughters (Francis, 1999). Family business da ughters may confront gendered relational tensions with family members who may als o be their bosses and coworkers. AlexandraÂ’s story represents many of the same tensi ons of connection/separation that other family business daughters encounter. She tries to balance her connection to her family business, with the distance needed to accomp lish her own goals. In fact, many family business daughters address similar relationa l tensions associated with being connected and disconnected to the family business ( Dumas, 1988). Baxter and MontgomeryÂ’s (1996) dialectical relationship theory is a tool that can be used to explore family business daughtersÂ’ incongruities. Under thi s view, Â“social lifeÂ” is a Â“dynamic knot of contradictionsÂ” where the Â“ceaseless interp layÂ” of dilemmas occurs (p. 3). In other words, we come to know who we are through our relationships and we create and
9 recreate ourselves through Â“ongoing, dynamicÂ” relat ional tensions (p. 166). In AlexandraÂ’s case, she understands who she is and ca n recreate who she is through how connected or how separated she is from her family b usiness. All she wants is a day off. Alexandra is so connect ed to her parentsÂ’ wellbeing; she feels a responsibility to help at the restauran t to provide economic security for them. Her boyfriend and cousins tried to persuade her to separate herself from the restaurant by leaving it to focus on her educational goals. To Al exandra, leaving her parents, who have worked hard every day of their lives for their chil dren, is a form of betrayal. This tension places her in a situation where she cannot win, sin ce she does not posses the resources to concurrently achieve her personal goals and her par entÂ’s family business goals. Her story typifies how some family business daughters equate familial bonds with family business involvement, and this complicates and heightens the connection/separation contradiction they experience with the family business. Research Aims The purpose of this study is to explore the relatio nal contradictions experienced by family business daughters, and to investigate ho w they responded to these tensions. For this project, I interviewed twelve second and t hird generation family business daughters from eleven different family businesses. I examined relational tensions at both a personal level and an organizational level involv ing the larger work-family system. At a personal level, as illustrated with Alexandra, the connection/separation contradiction is significant to family business daughters and to the ir relationships with work and family. Many family business daughters helped at the family business because it was a means of
10 emotional connection to family members who work the re. Some family business daughters went so far as sacrificing their personal goals for family business goals. At an organizational level, one advantage of workin g at a family business was the flexibility it provided family business daughters t o respond to family emergencies. Yet ironically, family business daughters were not gran ted the same accommodations for schedule demands associated with childcare. Family business daughters who were mothers often felt as if they could not be good mot hers and productive workers. I have tried to explore the gendered basis of these differ ent tensions, particularly as they arise from the ideology of separate spheres and patriarch al assumptions concerning the publicprivate divide and the assumed separation of family and work. Rationale Family businesses are a prominent part of the Ameri can business landscape because of their economic contributions. Most of us have purchased items manufactured from large family controlled businesses including W al-Mart, Ford Motor, HJ Heinz, and The Campbell Soup Company, and many others of us ha ve been, or will at sometime, be employed at a family firm. According to a study by the University of Southern Maine's Institute for Family-Owned Business, family busines ses account for 50% of U.S. gross domestic product, generate 60% of the country's em ployment, produce 78% of new jobs, and makeup 35% of the Fortune 500 companies (Perman 2006). Family firms account for approximately 6 million Canadian jobs (Deloitte & Touche, 1999), and are likely to have Â“largerÂ” influences internationally (Chua, Chr isman, & Steier, 2003). The emphasis of increased female leadership in fami ly businesses is a growing area of interest (Dumas, 1990). Family business wom enÂ’s leadership style is more
11 relational when compared to family business men (Du mas, 1989b), and they have been shown to be more effective leaders than their broth ers (Perman, 2006). According to the San Fernando Valley Business Journal (2003), 34% of family business executives claim in five to seven years, their next CEO is likely to be female. However, only 9.5% of family businesses are run by women (Mass Mutual & R aymond Institute, 2003). Small percentages such as this, suggest the projected gro wth rate for female leadership is actually higher than the actual number of positions that materialize (Nelton, 1998). Since 60% of Americans are employed by family firms family firms greatly influence the quality of life for the majority of e mployed Americans. In addition, the above inconsistencies associated with family busine ss womenÂ’s leadership suggest that these firms may be operating under unconscious patr iarchal assumptions. According to Dumas (1989a), the family-owned business Â“has the potential to play a crucial role in both improving womenÂ’s occupational status, as well as altering the way women are perceived and treated in our societyÂ” (p. 303). One way family firms can do this is by creating policies that enable parents to simultaneo usly be a good parent and a good worker (Francis, 1999). However, to successfully ac complish this, family businesses must first become aware of unconscious Â“biasesÂ” tow ard women that limit their abilities to fully contribute (Dumas, 1989a). Family business daughters and the quality of their lives is an important topic because the policies th at influence them will likely influence other female employees who work at those firms. Fam ily firms have the potential to serve as models for other organizations regarding informa l and formal work life policies. I use Baxter and MontgomeryÂ’s (1996) theory of rel ational dialectics to investigate the Â“knot of contradictionsÂ” at the hea rt of family business daughters'
12 experiences. Through in-depth interviews with famil y business daughters, I address the following questions: 1. What are the relational tensions that family bu siness daughters experience? 1a.What relational tensions exist at a personal le vel? 1b. What relational tensions exist at an organizat ional level? 2. How do family business daughters respond to per ceived relational tensions? Preview of Chapters In Chapter One, I provide an overview of contempo rary family business literature to examine the overlap of familial and organization al systems. The literature reveals that family business children are often a part of a uniq ue family culture where family inclusion is gauged according to family membersÂ’ bu siness contributions (Gersick et al. 1997). It also suggests that family business women are an undervalued resource (Dumas, 1992). Next, I explore communication centered persp ectives on work-life approaches and separate spheres discourse. I end by discussing how relational dialectics can be a conceptual tool for exploring family business daugh tersÂ’ relational tensions. In Chapter Two, I present the methodological appr oaches I used to conduct this research study. The purpose of my research was to e xplore the relational tensions family business daughters experienced, and how they respon ded to these tensions. I focus on material gathered in 18 in-depth, face to face inte rviews I conducted with 12 family business daughters from 11 different companies. I u tilized research procedures similar to grounded theory to analyze my interview transcripts In Chapter Three, I examine family business daughte rsÂ’ personal level dialectical tensions and how they respond to them. The women I interviewed felt a strong desire to
13 be connected to and separated from the family busin ess. This was illustrated in how business participation was a means of emotionally c onnecting with and expressing care for family members. Family business daughters often felt as if they had to choose between giving to themselves or giving to the famil y business. In Chapter Four, I explore how gendered patterns pl ay out in the family business such as expectations that daughters will contribute more than sons, but also in gendered communication styles and performances. Then I exami ne how the founderÂ’s values create a family business culture that provided flexible po lices for family emergencies, but is less accommodating for family business daughters who are mothers. Finally, I draw on relational dialectics to investigate how family bus iness daughters addressed tensions. In Chapter Five, I begin by investigating the relat ionship between relational dialectics and BurkeÂ’s concept of consubstantiality This chapter also explores rationality/emotionality as a primary tension that family business daughters experienced. I end by illustrating how family business daughters Â’ experiences about motherhood connect with those of nonfamily business mothers.
14 Chapter One: The Contradiction of Overlapping Famil y and Business Boundaries I watched Abigail and Joe preserve their marriage in the clear resin of a bar top. The couple owned their new beach front restaurant, Mermaids, for three months and were renovating it. Â“We put extra large windows in the m ain barroom so you can see the beach from everywhere.Â” Abigail told me. Other than the v iew of the beach the U-shaped bar was the focal point of the room. I watched a carpen ter stirring clear goo in an industrial size bucket. Last night, Joe and Abigail decorated the hollow bar top with seashells. Â“We are going to pour clear resin in it,Â” Abigail explained, Â“so when it dries, it will look like it is water with sea shells in it. W e wanted customers to feel like this room is part of the beach.Â” A carpenter slowly began to pour the resin over th e shells. Â“Wait,Â” Abigail yelled as she ran out of bar. Â“There is one more thing. I donÂ’t want to forget this.Â” Joe came up and put his arm around me. Â“When you a re alone writing your dissertation, you can think how you were lucky enou gh to be a part of this,Â” he said. I was caught off guard by his remark. It wasnÂ’t my re staurant. This was monumental to him. I was watching a man pour resin. Abigail ran back in the room holding a small paper heart. Â“SeeÂ” she showed me. Â“I cut this last night from one of my and JoeÂ’s s w edding programs. I want it right here in the corner so I will always have an easy time findi ng it.Â”
15 Less than two years ago Joe and Abigail sold the fi rst restaurant they owned as a couple. Monday through Saturday Joe worked the day shift, and Monday through Saturday Abigail worked the night shift. Abigail tr ied to make it work for ten years. One day she decided she was never going back to their r estaurant even if meant losing Joe. They sold the restaurant, and three months ago Abig ail agreed that her husband should fulfill his dream of owning a beachfront business. In the years to come, Mermaid customers will come in for a drink and ask about the paper heart in the bar top. A husband and wife will share their story. Customers may ask about other memories preserved in the clear res in. The newspaper clipping of Joe receiving the blue-ribbon for a chowder cook-off, a little wooden mermaid Abigail painted, and a light fixture from their first resta urant. Symbols of their marriage surviving, of their former business accomplishments and of their hope for the future are all permanently encased in clear liquid glue that h ardened. Joe was right. As I write my dissertation I am thinking about the day I watched Abigail and Joe preserve their marriage in the clear resin of a bar top. The family business has been described as an Â“Ameri can idealÂ” and is often imagined to provide the family who owns it with Â“fr eedom,Â” Â“success,Â” Â“financial security,Â” and Â“respectÂ” (Rosenblatt,de Mik, Anders on, & Johnson, 1985, p. 2). While the business ideals linked with the family business are alluring, they fail to capture the interpersonal complexity that is coupled with worki ng with family members. Familial and organizational boundaries overlap, and family and b usiness relationships intertwine (Jaffe, 1990). I introduce this chapter by sharing Abigail and JoeÂ’s story because it is a strong illustration of how in a family business, fa mily and business relationships are
16 integrated. Symbols of Abigail and JoeÂ’s marriage a nd business are interwoven to build the foundation for their future together both as a couple and as business partners. Understanding the implications of overlapping famil y and work boundaries is important for my dissertation and more generally, f or family business scholarship. This highlights the importance of examining the work of work-life communication scholars who investigate separate spheres discourse. Explori ng how gender functions within this framework is crucial for understanding family busin ess daughtersÂ’ relational tensions. This dissertation attempts to explore how some fami ly business daughters experience the overlap between family and business, and the importance of gender in this overlap. It specifically investigates the relationa l tensions family business daughters experience at both an internal (personal) and exter nal (social) level, and how they respond to these tensions. In this chapter I first examine literature from family business scholarship to investigate contemporary perspective s on the overlap of family and business to better understand family business cultu re. Next, I investigate the literature about family business women to explore how issues o f visibility show up in business and familial contexts. Then, I explore communication ce ntered perspectives on work-life approaches and separate spheres discourse. Finally, I discuss relational dialectics as a tool that can be used to explore family business daughte rsÂ’ relational tensions. Overlapping Boundaries: Contemporary Family Busines s Perspectives HollanderÂ’s and ElmanÂ’s article, Â“Family-owned busi ness: An emerging field of inquiry,Â” (1988) outlined the development of the Â“m ultidisciplinaryÂ” field since 1983 and illustrated how scholars changed their focus from c omplete separation of family and business to exploring the permeability of these bou ndaries. In family business research,
17 the merging of family and business variables have b een explored from (a) a systemic (Davis, 1983; Davis & Stern, 1980; Hollander & Elma n, 1988), (b) cultural (Poza, 2004), and (c) generational perspective (Gersick et al ., 1997). While some scholars argue family business members should establish distinct boundari es that separate business and family life (Cole, 2000; Flemons & Cole, 1992; Schiff Este ss, 1997, 2000), most researchers contend that it is impossible for family companies to separate family and business (Olson et al. 2003; Sharma & Manikutty, 2005). Systems theory is a prominent method applied in fam ily business scholarship (e.g., Barnes, 1988; Gillis-Donovan & Moynihan-Brad t, 1990; Winter, Fitzgerald, Heck, Haynes, & Danes, 1998; Rowe & Hong, 2000). A system s approach Â“emphasizesÂ” how Â“a collection of partsÂ…work together to create a fu nctional wholeÂ” (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2007, p. 101). In the context of a fa mily business, this suggests that collectively the family and the business comprise t he family firm. Family business research is heavily influenced by family systems th eory approaches utilized by Minuchin (e.g., Minuchin & Nicholson, 1993) and Bowen (e.g., Bowen, 1978), and most family business system models consist of three circles rep resenting the overlap of ownership, management, and family subsystems (Tagiuri & Davis, 1996). Current models adopt an open-systems approach by investigating the influenc e of the business environment on family firms (Habbershon et al. 2006; Pieper & Klein, 2007). Family business life cycle approaches explore the i mpact that the intergenerational survival of the family firm has o n family ownership, family management, and resource allocation (Kellermanns, 2005). First generation family businesses share the same struggles as entrepreneur businesses (Brockhaus, 1994; Dyer &
18 Handler, 1994; Hoy & Verser, 1994, such as the fami ly and the business competing for financial resources (Jaffe, 1990). Typically, secon d and third generation businesses are economically stable; therefore, family members do n ot experience the economic stresses experienced by first generation family business mem bers. Business stage is an indicator of how much a family member is expected to participate. A business can posses characteristics that make it stay in the startup phase for more than one generation. Businesses in these phase s will make different demands on a family than businesses in the mature phase (Rosenbl att et al., 1985). Startup and smaller companies Â“have more need of family members to help out temporarilyÂ” or Â“to serve as back-up helpÂ” than a large business with more emplo yees (Rosenblatt et al. 1985). Family business transitions likely coincide with fa mily transitions, for example, when the founder retires the family business goes through su ccession (Gersick et al. 1997). Life cycle approaches illustrate how the experiences of family business members are varied, and tied to business type, business size, business age, and company profit. In my dissertation third generation family business daugh ters from medium sized companies that grossed over 20 million dollars yearly, had a different relationship with the business as children than second generation daughters who he lped at their parentÂ’s small business. Family Business Culture Family business members coauthor, with other family members, a living family business culture where both the family and the busi ness mold one another. Family business members are motivated by Â“being connectedÂ” to their family Â“financially as well as emotionallyÂ” (Kaslow, 1993 p. 4). The mutual int erdependence between family and business make the family businesses unique (Lee, 20 06). When family members choose a
19 Â“careerÂ” in the family business they make a commit ment to be interdependent with family members for issues pertaining to family, car eer and finances (Gersick et al. 1997). Positive and negative family relationship pa tterns often spill over into the family business, and fights with parents or siblings in ei ther the family and business context are typically carried into the other context (Jaffe, 19 90; McCann, 2007). One of the family business daughters I interviewed explained this whe n she commented that when the CEO yelled at her, it was both her boss and her father yelling at her. Family members often have a difficult time separati ng business and family because the familyÂ’s socialization network is usual ly the same as their business network (Lyman, 1988). Furthermore, there is a direct conne ction to family standard of living and business profit. When the business is new or not ma king a profit, the family must compete with the firm for economic resources (Heck et al. 2006) and accept lower standards of living (Rosenblatt et al. 1985). The literature reveals that a close connection to t he family business begins in childhood. Family business consultants Gersick and his colleagues (1997) contend that Â“conveying the psychological legacy of the firm is an important part of child rearingÂ” for family business parents (p. 71). As a result, famil y business children are often put in situations where they feel emotionally and financia lly connected to their families (Lansberg, 1983). The business founder typically de fines both the family and business culture (McCann, 2006), and uses family members, in cluding children, as a form of inexpensive labor (Gersick et al. 1997). Since, the family businessÂ’s concerns are directly tied to the family and its economic wellbe ing, it is common for family business children to grow up with the same economic commitme nts and company values as their
20 parents. Family business children often know more a bout their familyÂ’s financial status than nonfamily business children (McCann, 2006). As well as experiencing an emotional connection bet ween money and family, family business children experience a strong social bond to the family business. Since many family business children have high levels of i nteraction with the family business at a young age, they often share their parentsÂ’ view o f the business, are committed to the family firm, and have common business expertise (Ga rca-lvarez et al. 2002; Pyromalis et al. 2006). Children who only hear the negative aspec ts of the business can become turned off to it. However, children who see both po sitive and negative aspects are likely to see themselves as a part of the family firm (Ge rsick et al., 1997). While family business literature clearly claims tha t in a family business there is an undeniable overlap of family and business, some aut hors warn family business parents that in order to protect their children they must e stablish boundaries between the two. Greg McCann, the director of the Family Business Ce nter at Stetson University, explored the intimate connection between familial identity a nd family business in his book When your parents sign the paychecks: Finding career suc cess inside or outside the family business According to him, Â“In a family business, the busi ness often defines the familyÂ’s identityÂ” (2006, p. 4); therefore, it is important that family business children establish Â“an emotional self that is separate fromÂ” their Â“family Â” (p. 2). Family business childrenÂ’s dedication to the family firm is often dependent up on if their parents integrate or separate business and family commitment. For example, Gersic k and his colleagues (1997) suggest that for some business families Â“the compan y is always centralÂ….because the
21 business dominates all aspects of family lifeÂ” (p. 78). In this situation family acceptance is equated with business participation. They explai n: In these cases, the surest way for a child to get a ttention and rewards from the parents, even at an early age, is through the busin essÂ…..Staying in the business means keeping first-class status in the family; cho osing another path means becoming peripheral to family interaction. The more successful you are in the company, the higher your value in your parentsÂ’ eye sÂ” p. 78. Families who highly integrate personal and professi onal commitments are compared and contrasted with business families wher e parents Â“protectÂ” their children from such concerns. Parents offer this protection b y participating in their childrenÂ’s lives in a manner not associated with the family firm. Fo r example, going on a family vacation that is not connected with a business trip, offers family business children a chance to develop a relationship with their parents in a nonbusiness context. Family business children who grow up with this protection Â“are more likely to view working in the business as a career option, not as a criterion for membership in the familyÂ” (Gersick et al. 1997, p. 78). The notion that family business par ents can Â“protectÂ” their children from family and business relationships becoming too inte grated perpetuates the myth that there are physical, emotional, and categorical distinctio ns between personal and professional spheres (Kirby et al. 2003). In my research, family business daughtersÂ’ percepti on of work and family boundaries influenced how family business daughters responded to their perceived relational tensions. Women who viewed personal and family business goals as separate felt as if they had to pick one goal over the other Women who integrated personal and
22 business goals felt as if they could accomplish bot h. Gender was another important aspect regarding how family business daughters responded t o their relational tensions. The Unique Standpoint of Family Business Daughters The oldest family business located in the United St ates is the cymbal company, Zildjian Cymbal Company that was founded in 1623 in Constantinople and arrived in the U.S. in 1929. Family business daughter Craigie is c urrently the companyÂ’s first female CEO in 14 generations ("America's oldest family com panies", 2003). Family businesses have a tradition of operating under primogeniture ( Francis, 1999), and treating family business daughters as an Â“untapped resourceÂ” (Dumas 1992). The literature on family business daughters reveals that their contributions are often undervalued and treated as invisible in both a familial and business context. Colette A. Dumas is perhaps the most published auth or on family business daughter research (Dumas, 1988, 1989a, 1989b, 1990, 1992, 1998; Dumas et al. 1995). Using a critical feminist approach, her work addres ses the many challenges family business daughters face. She claims they are an Â“un tapped resource within the family firmÂ” because they often are not considered for fir m positions unless there is a family or business emergency, and are typically treated as pa rt-time help (Dumas, 1992). Family business daughters do not have formalized roles and their work responsibilities are ambiguous (Dumas, 1992). Her findings are consisten t with others who suggest that most family business daughters enter the firm because of a crisis (Curimbaba, 2002) and are unlikely successors (Barnes, 1998; Francis, 1999; H aberman & Danes, 2007). The challenges family business daughters encounter are consistent with challenges that family business women in general en counter including: (a) unpaid labor,
23 (b) lack of job description (Danes & Olson, 2003), and (c) difficulty balancing family and work (Fitzgerald & Muske, 2002). This scholarship u nderscores the importance of feminist perspectives for understanding the experie nce of family business daughters by suggesting, that cultural gendered stereotypes limi t how family business women are treated by others and how family business women vie w themselves (Salganicoff, 1990). Researchers contend that the challenges family busi ness women confront frequently result in their contributions being minimized to th e point where they are invisible. For over two decades, issues of family business wom enÂ’sÂ’ visibility and invisibility have been a consistent theme in family business women literature (e.g., Curimbaba, 2002; Danes & Olson, 2003; Dumas, 1988; Y. G. Lee et al. 2006; Lyman, 1988; Rowe & Hong, 2000; Salganicoff, 1990). Cole ( 1997) defines invisibility as Â“a role created for a woman in which family members and oth ers ignore the womenÂ’s professional capabilitiesÂ” (p. 369). As early as 19 88, Lyman noted how family businesswomen make interpersonal and invisible cont ributions to the family business such as contributing their insight to business conv ersations that occur at family dinner (Lyman, 1988, p. 383). The next portion of this cha pter considers how issues of invisibility have been explored from both an organi zational and familial standpoint. Problems with (In)Visibility in the Organization The relational work that women perform while at wor k is often overlooked in business because it is not easily translated into o rganizational outcomes (Fletcher, 1999; Hochschild, 1983). Family business scholars report similar findings with family business women and therefore, explore the informal business contributions family business daughters make. Gillis-Donovan and Moynihan-Bradt ( 1990) argue when exploring
24 family businesses, that informal third party relati onships are just as important to the business as Â“formalÂ” business relationships. Often female family members without official company titles, work roles, or salaries pe rform jobs such as balancing the books at home and are often never given credit for their Â“informalÂ” contributions (Row & Hong, 2000). The tendency for scholars and family busines s consultants to overlook informal business relationships risks the omission of gender ed considerations important to family businesses. For example, during succession daughter s typically provide more financial and emotional support for their retiring parents th an sons (Cadieux, Lorrain, & Hurgron, & 2002; Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 1998). Family business daughters, who work with their brot hers, report having to work harder than their brothers to prove they are compet ent at their jobs and that they feel Â“less visibleÂ” than their brothers (Vera & Dean, 2005). T his includes family business daughters who joined the family business after establishing t hemselves as successful business women in fields or organizations not affiliated wit h their family business. Furthermore, Curimbaba (2002) notes how family business women in leadership positions are dynamic and shift based upon family and business needs. For example, a visible leadership position for a family business daughter can be tran sformed to an invisible, less powerful role if a brother decides to assume a leadership ro le in the company. Feelings of invisibility and shifting power structures experien ced by family business daughters are consequences of both social and family business nor ms associated with gender. For example, Salganicoff (1990) argues the unique contr ibutions of women, including keeping peace between family members, is ignored un der patriarchal business structures.
25 Family business scholars have addressed contradict ions of invisibility found when gendered stereotypes held by nonfamily members such as other employees or clients, are juxtaposed against a particular familyÂ’s unbiased n orms for organizational responsibilities. For example, often husband and wi fe teams treat each other equitably, while clients treat the Â“wifeÂ” as a subordinate mem ber of the organization (Hollander & Bukowitz, 1990). Coles (1997) contends that while s ome families treat all members equitably, in large family firms invisibility issue s exist for nonfamily members inside and outside of the company, while in smaller companies it typically stems from professionals external to the company. Barnes (1988) explores how an incongruence in the f amily and business Â“positionÂ” of the daughter or younger son creates an incongruence between the family and business hierarchy. For example, succession is difficult for a younger son or daughter because the company position they are succeeding to is higher t han their family position. In order for succession to be successful, family members must ne gotiate their identities by transforming the hierarchical status of the younger son or daughter so it is consistent in both the family and the business. To increase congr uence from the status conflict, the daughter or younger son must Â“restructure their ide ntity for outsiders and family members by changing perceptions and behavior patter ns of those associated with family and businessÂ” (p. 13). She claims daughters face m ore resistance than sons. Family business womenÂ’s financial contributions are often undervalued and ignored. This includes women who earn incomes from working a t another job, those who work at the family business and another job, and those that work at the family firm without any pay (Rowe & Hong, 2000). Family business wives empl oyed at the family firm earn the
26 lowest company salaries (Rowe & Hong, 2000), and fa mily business women who are not owners typically work without pay and job descripti on (Danes & Olson, 2003). Working without titles and salaries blurs the boundaries of family and work (Hollander & Bukowitz, 1990; Lyman, 1988; Salganicoff, 1990), re sulting in family business daughters being treated as helpers, as opposed to business pa rticipants (Dumas, 1989b). In addition, although family business women are bet ter trained and educated than their male counterparts, they are not typically vie wed as a business asset and only join the company because of either a family or business cris is (Curimbaba, 2002). Furthermore, it is common for family business women who are permane nt employees, to originally have joined the family firm on a temporary basis, just t o help out (Vera & Dean, 2005), or to fill a position no one else wants (Salganicoff, 199 0). Problems with (In)Visibility in the Family According to Gillis-Donovan and Moynihan-Bradt (19 90), Â“Most commonly women organize their lives around the needs of thei r families, while men organize their lives around the demands of their work.Â” As a resul t, women often Â“participate invisibly in the family businessÂ” through their familial cont ributions including: (a) responsibility for household chores, (b)Â“family respectabilityÂ”, ( c)Â“emotional connectednessÂ”, and (d)Â“life-cycle changesÂ” (p. 156). Economic status i nfluences the type of contributions women make. Many business wives must accept lower s tandards of living when the business is new (Rosenblatt et al., 1985), and have a difficult time managing the fami ly finances because they must compete with the family firm for economic resources (Heck et al., 2006). This can be a Â“burdenÂ” on lower income fami ly business women who must constantly negotiate limited family and business re sources (Lee et al. 2006). In addition,
27 women from lower income brackets are more likely to help manage the family firm than women who are from families in higher income bracke ts (Lee et al. 2006), and to contribute to the Â“familyÂ” by working for free at t he family business. Furthermore, it is typical for these family business women to use inco me they have earned from other jobs to help support their family and the family owned b usiness (Rosenblatt et al. 1985). Family business women also provide intangible reso urces that are often overlooked or invisible. CEO spouses play important informal, leadership roles in the family owned business by helping to develop and mai ntain family cultures that build Â“family unityÂ” and Â“business continuityÂ” (Poza & Me sser, 2001). Family matriarchs also must address workplace topics of conversation that Â“get taken homeÂ” including Â“brainstorming on weekendsÂ” (Lyman, 1988). An exami nation of visibility issues reveals that a major source of conflict for family business women is work life tensions because their work as a house manager is undervalued. Accor ding to Vera and Dean (2005), 80% of family business women have a difficult time Â“bal ancing work and familyÂ” (p. 333). In addition, family business women who work with their husbands at a family business are responsible for more household chores than women fr om dual income families who are employed at a nonfamily business (Marshack, 1994, 1 998). This indicates that there is an unfair division of family and work responsibilities for family business women, particularly for those f amily business women are responsible for being the primary household manager, managing a family business, and working a job not affiliated with the family business (Vera & Dea n, 2005). According to Marshack (1998), one reason for this unfair distribution of household, family and business responsibilities is that the work load is divided b y gender. In her study of copreneurs,
28 couples who jointly own a business, women were the primary household managers and worked at their business with their husbands. Children complicate a family business daughterÂ’s ab ility to manage work and family responsibilities, and a major concern of fam ily business women is their ability to be a mother while a fulltime family business employ ee (Cole, 1997). Family business daughters work approximately 70 hours a week (Cadie ux et al. 2002), and working long hours can discourage her from becoming a parent (Sa lganicoff, 1990). Family business daughters receive a Â“double messageÂ” about becoming a mother from their parents (Cole, 1997). Sometimes, daughters feel as if their parent s expect them to have children, but at the same time, get upset if their daughterÂ’s work p erformance declines after she has become a mother (Cole, 1997). Motherhood increases the chances of invisibility for family business women. Family business women with y oung children are less visible in the family business than family business women with out children, or family business mothers with school age children (Gillis-Donovan & Moynihan-Bradt, 1990). My review of literature reveals that family busines s daughters experience several incongruities associated with their family business participation. Although contemporary family business perspectives clearly advocate the o verlap of family and business in the family business, it appears as if gender is used as a boundary to separate how family and business contributions are valued (Marshack, 1994). Family business daughters are undervalued in both the familial and business conte xt, while their male counterpartsÂ’ contributions are respected. This dilemma mimics pa triarchal assumptions inherent in separate sphere discourses. Investigating gender in a work life context illustrates how work-family processes Â“rely on gender ideologies or belief configurations about who
29 ordinarily does what in our societyÂ” (Kirby et al., 2003). As a result, I shift focus to communication-centered perspectives on separate sph eres discourses. Communication Centered Perspectives: Problematizing Boundaries The gendered split between the public and private s phere links back to the industrial revolution, when men began to perform pa id labor outside of the home and women continued to perform the unpaid family labor (Medved, 2007). The separation of domestic and professional spheres is the product of hegemonic patriarchal power structures that privilege menÂ’s work over womenÂ’s w ork (Fletcher, 1999). MenÂ’s paid labor has historically been valued more than womenÂ’ s unpaid domestic labor which is deemed unproductive (Crittenden, 2001). Currently, organizations perpetuate the patriarchal assumptions associated with the Â“ideolo gy of separate worlds,Â” because family is supposed to remain separate from the real m of work (Kirby et al., 2003). However, resources such as technology are making ho me boundaries much more susceptible to work (Edley, 2001). As a result, wor k is often taken home and expected to be performed during family time. Communication scholars problematize the notion of s eparating family and business boundaries in work life research (Kirby et al. 2003). They argue that researchers who adopt the Â“boundary metaphorÂ” may u nintentionally reinforce the assumed separation of work and personal interests w hich therefore, indirectly restricts our Â“work-family choicesÂ” and limits our options for ha ndling work and family tensions (p. 9). Separate spheres assumptions make one feel as i f it is not appropriate for work and personal concerns to exist in the same sphere. As a way of challenging traditional separate spheres thinking, communication researcher s suggest that both families (Galvin,
30 2006) and work-life boundaries are defined through Â“discursive practicesÂ” (Kirby et al., 2003). For example, Galvin (2006) suggests that con temporary families are so diverse that they no longer can be defined by categories or unitary terms. As a result, families define themselves to other family members and nonfa mily members through their language and actions in the process of explaining a nd discussing their family relationships. Likewise, communication scholars sug gest that boundaries are Â“a continuous process of symbolic managementÂ” and that Â“work and family are neither specific places nor groups of people, but social co ntextsÂ” ( Kirby et al., 2003). As a result, they argue that instead of exploring the Â“ contentÂ” of the spheres it is more important to investigate Â“the contextual shifts bet ween the domains or the method by which individuals construct and enact meaning acros s themÂ” ( Kirby et al., 2003). Work-life Communication scholars problematize the b oundary metaphor by producing scholarship that attempts to Â“reshapeÂ” th e traditional gendered division of paid and nonpaid labor, redefining how it is viewed (Med ved, 2007) Medved (2007) argues that we should investigate home labor Â“as composed of a series of intricate, overlapping, and even contrasting discursive and material practi ces with concerted attention to their implicit or explicit political assumptionsÂ” (p. 240 ). Communication scholars attempt to do this by investigating how home labor is defined and performed in nontraditional families, such as with commuter marriages (Mason Be rgen et al. 2007) and how men use masculine frames for childcare (Golden, 2007). Also studies have been done to investigate the ways parental messages on work and gender influence childrenÂ’s constructions of work and family (Medved et al. 2006), and how technology influences work and family boundaries (Avery & Baker, 2000; Ma llia & Pixy Ferris, 2000).
31 In addition, these boundaries have been blurred in research that examined (a) family to work spillover (Krouse & Afifi, 2007) ( b) the implementation of family policies at organizations (Kirby, 2000; Kirby & Kro ne, 2002), (c) emotional display and improvisation by healthcare providers at work (Morg an & Krone, 2001), (d) individuals who work from home (Shuler, 2006), how working moth ers frame motherhood while at work (Jorgenson, 2000), (e) women entrepreneurs (Gi ll, 2006), and (f) how individuals with young children talk about work and family (Gol den, 2000). To best explore work life research from a communica tion perspective, communication practitioners propose the integration of both family and organizational communication approaches. In addition, they suggest that possible research models to do this are structuration, open systems, relationship dialectics, and critical or feminist approaches (Golden et al. 2006). It is interesting to note that while these models overlap between the communication subdisciplines of organiz ation and family, they are also models applied in family business research. In part icular, general systems theory was first used to explore the overlap between family and busi ness by family business practitioners (Hollander & Elman, 1988). Work life communication scholarship compliments family business scholarship, and enables me to discursivel y examine gendered assumptions associated with separate sphere discourses. Family business perspectives acknowledge the overlap of work and family boundaries in the fa mily business; however, the communication perspective provides a critical lens to examine that overlap. Problematizing Work-Life Relationships through Rela tional Dialectics In the context of the family business the economic survival of the family is directly connected to the economic wellbeing of the family firm. Emotional commitments
32 become intertwined with providing; therefore, the h ealth of the family business is often made first priority. My reading of the family busin ess daughter literature made me aware of the knot of contradictions at the heart of famil y business daughters' experience including: work/family, self/other, and connection/ separation. Obviously, these exist at varying levels of abstraction and their details are molded by different circumstances. Visibility issues are contradictory in nature becau se family business daughters who contribute to both family and work are undervalued. Biased family business cultures may limit the ways that family business daughters respo nd to their relational tensions. The dialectical approach proposed by Baxter and Mon tgomery (1996) provides a useful framework to understand relational dilemmas, incongruities, and tensions (e.g., Apker et al. 2005;Golish & Powell, 2003; Miller-Day, 2004; Sut er et al. 2006). While there are various communication perspectives on dia lectics (e.g., Bochner et al. 1997; Brown et al. 2006; Conville, 1998; Rawlins, 1992), and a varie ty of dialogical communication perspectives (see Anderson et al. 2004), the underpinning of relational dialectics is Russian theorist Mikhail BakhtinÂ’s di alogism theory (Baxter, 2006). Using BakhtinÂ’s dialogical lens, Baxter and Montgomery co ntend that social life is full of opposing multiple voices (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996 ), and muting any part of a contradiction presents a one-sided perspective. Relational dialectics is rooted methodologically in an interpretive and a constitutive approach. Baxter (2004b) argues that r elational dialectics is a Â“sensitizing theory,Â” and that it demonstrates TurnerÂ’s (1986) i dea of Â“descriptive/ sensitizing schemes;Â” or schemes that sensitize researchers to certain social practices. Under this framework, relational dialectics theoretically is Â“ a set of propositional assumptions and
33 core concepts whose purpose is to render intelligib le relational communicationÂ” (p. 17). It differs from other theoretical models Â“whose goal i s prediction, explanation, and controlÂ” (p. 17). Theoretically, relational dialectics shou ld be evaluated upon the following: Â“(a) its ability to be heuristic, enabling us to see rel ating in a new light; and (b) its ability to render intelligible the set of practices known as r elatingÂ” (Baxter, 2004b, p. 17). The interplay and interpenetration of multiple voic es is both what gives relational dialectics a constitutive quality and at the same t ime is what makes it different from other dialectical constitutive models. A constitutive app roach explores how communication constructs the social world; typically through inte raction. In contrast to other dialectical constitutive perspectives, the emphasis relational dialectics places upon multivocality suggests that meaning is produced from the wholenes s of contradiction. Baxter (2006) contends that it is the Â“unity or interplay of the competing voices that comprise a contradictionÂ” (p. 136). Central to relational dial ectics are four core assumptions of contradiction, change, praxis, and totality (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). Contradiction Contradiction is central to dialectical theory and is defined as Â“the dynamic interplay between unified oppositionsÂ” that result from the interpenetration of multiple voices (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). Contradiction h as three following essential conditions: (a) the unity of opposites, or the idea that Â“opposites must simultaneously be unified or interdependent with one anotherÂ” (b) int erdependent unity, or the assumption that Â“oppositional tendencies are unified as interd ependent parts of a larger whole,Â” and (c) Â“dynamic interplay or tension between the unifi ed oppositesÂ” (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000, p. 327). The basis of unity is that a contrad iction must have a Â“both/and quality,Â”
34 while mere opposites cancel one another out (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). In my family business research, I use wholeness as a dial ectical framework that suggests a contradiction is incomplete if it does not have a b oth/and component. In other words, under a dialectical perspective family business res earch assumes family and business contradictions are not separate; rather, they exist as one entity. Change Baxter and Montgomery (1996) argued Â“change is inhe rent in contradiction because the interplay of unified oppositions result s in a system that is perpetually in fluxÂ” (p. 10). Central to change is dialogical complexity : Â“a relational system that is characterized by a knot of contradictions that stim ulate multidirectional, spiraling, qualitative and quantitative change that has meanin g in its own right rather than in relation to some anticipated stateÂ” (Baxter & Montg omery, 1997, p. 160). Relational partners negotiate their relationships through chan ge and create social systems fueled by contradiction (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). Baxter ( 2004a) argued tensions can never be transcended; rather they can be reframed so that they appear to take on a new form. Likewise, perspectives that assume contradictions c an be Â“balancedÂ” are problematic because balance represents the loss of centrifugalcentripetal movement (Baxter, 2004c). Totality Totality is the idea that happenings can only be fu lly understood in relation to other happenings (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996, 2000). It is associated with the following three issues: (a) where contradictions are located, (b) interdependences among contradictions, (c) and contextualization of contra dictory interplay (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). The first characteristic, the lo cation of contradiction, implies that
35 contradictions are Â“jointly ownedÂ” by the individua ls in a relationship (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). This suggests that dialectical t ensions do not exist between people; rather they are a part of the relationship that peo ple share. The next characteristic, interdependences among con tradictions, recognizes that relational systems contain many contradictions and these contradictions Â“do not exist in isolation of one another; rather, they form an inte rdependent knot in which one contradiction is implicated with other contradictio ns in a weblike mannerÂ” (Baxter et al., 2002, p. 7). Contradictions are organized hierarchi cally regarding their location relative to the center of the knot and are either a primary contradiction (centrally located) or a secondary contradiction (marginally located) (Baxte r & Montgomery, 1997). Contradictions are also internal (tensions within t he relationship) or external contradictions (environmental or external tensions) (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). The overlap of family, business, and society illust rates the complexities of internal and external contradictions. Not only do f amily members experience internal contradictions, they also experience external contr adictions from both family norms and social norms. For example, a younger sibling (male or female), often faces opposition from family members when they try to attain a leade rship position within the family firm because placing them in a position of power over an older sibling at the firm would create inconsistent family and business power structures ( Barnes, 1998). In addition, as a result of patriarchal social norms, family business women in positions of power are typically discriminated against by nonfamily members because of their gender (Curimbaba, 2002). According to these research findings, family busine ss women in powerful positions at the
36 family firm, who are younger siblings, are likely t o experience external contradictions at both a family level and at a social level. The final characteristic of totality, contextualiza tion of contradictory interplay, assumes that contradictions are situated in tempora l, spatial, and social contexts (Baxter & Montgomery, 1997). This underscores how dialectic al tensions are locally situated. As a result, to avoid generalizing the Â“localized part icularitiesÂ” of the contradiction (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000), communication scholars should ground Â“dialectical analyses in the social context in which they are experiencedÂ” ( Baxter et al., 2002, p. 20). The meanings associated with relational tensions are Â“e tched differentlyÂ” depending upon the context and type of relationship that one examines (Baxter, 2006). Praxis Baxter and Montgomery (1996) note that praxis is th e idea that Â“people are at once actors and objects of their own actionsÂ” (p. 1 3). People actively make decisions about how they communicate with others, and these c hoices are Â“simultaneouslyÂ” a Â“productÂ” of their prior behaviors and experiences (Baxter et al. 2002). Praxis focuses our attention onto how contradictions are responded to. Baxter and Montgomery (2000) outline two common patterns of dysfunctional praxis and six functional patterns of praxis, and suggest there are numerous localized wa ys to respond to contradictions. Forms of praxis vary in their level of functionalit y (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). F u nctional patterns Â“all show recognition of the cont radiction and involve proactive response patterns of one kind or anotherÂ” (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000. p. 48). The two dysfunctional patterns of praxis are denial (prete nding that there is no contradiction or ignoring one half of the dialectic) and disorientat ion (tensions are recognized, regarded as
37 inevitable, and considered negative) (Baxter & Mont gomery, 1997). Some functional patterns of praxis include recalibration (reframing of a contradiction so that it no longer feels like polar opposites) and reaffirmation (the acceptances and celebration of all the polarities of a contradiction) (Montgomery & Baxter 2000). Critical Sensibility Critical sensibility is a critique of power in rel ational dialects. Central to relational dialectics is unity because it implies a multivocal approach to contradiction. Since subordinate voices are often muted by dominant voic es, failure to critically examine hegemonic power structures that reproduce dominant perspectives leads to monologue. Baxter contends that scholars who adopt a dialogica l perspective have an Â“obligation to critiqueÂ…dominant voicesÂ” (Baxter, 2004a, p. 123). Exploring dialectical tensions reveals why certain Â“ideologiesÂ” remain at the cent er of tensions while other ideologies remain at the margins (Baxter, 2004c). The critical aspect of relational dialectics is invaluable in the family business context because i t has the potential to bring to the foreground voices and perspectives that have been m arginalized by hegemonic family business cultures heavily influenced by the founder Work Life Communication Perspectives Golden Kirby, and Jorgenson (2006) argue that rel ational dialectics is Â“a potentially fruitful and underexploited perspective for spanning the divide between organization-and family-based studies of work and p ersonal-life interrelationshipsÂ” (p. 167). They note that its dialogical approach underm ines the basic assumptions of the work life boundary by illustrating that work life t ensions can be productive. They contend
38 this approach demonstrates how contradictions assoc iated with home and work are integrated and exist simultaneously with partners f rom both spheres (Golden et al. 2006). They argue that the location of contradiction is im perative in problematizing the work life metaphor. Since separate sphere discourse focuses on the differences of the personal and professional realms, it positions each sphere as a polarized side of a work life contradiction. If work and family are always p ositioned in dialectical opposition, this discourse suggests that contradiction is located be tween the two separate spheres. Therefore, we assume that tensions are always locat ed in the space between work and home. Since dialectical relationship theory focuses on how relational contradictions are performed, it reframes the separate sphere metaphor Rather than having the focus be on where tensions exists (i.e. in between the spheres of work and life), the focus shifts onto how contradictions are discursively enacted. As res earchers we no longer care where tensions are located, instead we explore the langua ge and actions that reveal them. Family business daughtersÂ’ goals, resources, and pr iorities are etched in relational contradictions they experienced. Under a relational dialectical framework, the purpose of my research is to explore the wholeness of family b usiness daughtersÂ’ dialectical tensions. Unity is the both/and aspects of contradi ction; it therefore, simultaneously accounts for the multiple voices that are present i n dialectical tensions. Specifically, it is the both/and aspect of contradiction that helped me understand how our greatest strengths are simultaneously our greatest weaknesses. Further more, this perspective has provided the framework for me to problematize traditional po wer assumptions associated with separate sphere discourse and to listen to marginal ized voices that live in the contradictory relationships of women and work.
39 Chapter Two: Research Methodology In order to explore meaning from the Â“nativeÂ’sÂ” poi nt of view and address how family business daughters understand their own live s (Baxter & Babbie, 2004) this study employs qualitative/interpretive research methods. Several dialectical studies position themselves in the interpretative paradigm (i.e., Ba xter et al. 2004a; Baxter et al. 2004b; Braithwaite & Baxter, 2006) and search for understa nding through recognizing the meanings participants associate with particular beh aviors or processes (Cresswell, 1998). Specifically, I utilize research procedures similar to grounded theory because it offers a systemic and rigorous method to inductively code qu alitative data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The data coding invo lves a comparative methods technique where emerging themes are compared and co ntrasted with similar emerging themes across all interviews. Charmaz (2002) conten ds, Â“Through comparative methods, grounded theorists define the properties of categor ies and specify the conditions under which categories are lined to other categoriesÂ” (p. 689). A core strength of grounded theory techniques is that the analytic categories a re created from the data Â“not from preconceived logically deduced hypotheses,Â” and tha t these categories explain social processes (Charmaz & Mitchell, 2001, 162). While most perspectives of grounded theory are obje ctivist and assume there is an objective reality to explore and report (Charmaz, 2 002), I adopt an approach similar to constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 1990, 2000 2003, 2005). Charmaz suggests a
40 constructivist grounded theory approach presumes th at Â“our theoretical analysis are interpretive renderings of a reality, not objective reporting of itÂ” (Charmaz, 2005, p. 510). In addition, it privileges how Â“participants constr uct meanings and actionsÂ” and takes into account the relationship between the local and cult ural context and meaning construction (Charmaz, 2002, p. 677). My approach differs from g rounded theorists because my goals are not generalizablity of conclusions (Ellis, 2004 ), or Â“developing theoryÂ” (Charmaz, 1995, 34). Instead, I explore how themes discovered from the discourse of family business women reveals the relationship between the ir self-perceptions and their perceived social reality. This is similar to femini st scholars who explore oral narratives to discover how social context influences how individu als understand their life stories (Peterson, 1997; White, 1997). Furthermore, grounde d theorists debate how much literature and theory a researcher should go into t he project with. Charmaz and Mitchell (2001) propose, so that the analysis is independent of other theories, the literature review be conducted after the analysis is done. In my case my reading and analysis of the transcripts were pre-tuned by my familiarity with t he concepts of relational dialects which guided my inquiry. Relational dialectics prov ided me with a framework to explore family business daughtersÂ’ experiences; therefore, my work contributes to both research on family business daughters and research on dialec tical tensions. Recruitment of Participants Participants were 12 family business daughters who had worked at the family firm within the past year. An exception was one family b usiness daughter who worked with her father at his company until she was a teenager and as an adult has worked at and owned two different family businesses with her husb and. The family business daughters I
41 interviewed were a sample of convenience, and I rec ruited them to participate in my study by word of mouth and by sending a recruitment letter to local family businesses. While I did receive a big response from the letters only four out of the 12 participants were recruited in that manner. In my visits to vari ous family firms I discovered that while the family business daughters are very eager to bra g about their business accomplishments, they are hesitant to talk about th eir family relationships. Many of the family business daughters I visited as potential ca ndidates in my research study were very guarded about their families and declined my reques t for an interview. This is consistent with the idea that the personal lives of the family members of family businesses are often made public; therefore, family members protect thei r companyÂ’s image by not airing their familyÂ’s dirty laundry (McCann, 2007). I met one of my interviewees at a professional conference; however, she is not in academia. The ot her seven family business daughters were referred to me by individuals who knew them. Next, I would like to describe how I define family business and what types of companies qualified for my study. Although high pro file family businesses are easy to recognize, merging a complex concept such as Â“famil yÂ” with business complicates the chore of defining what a family business is. This m ay perhaps be the reason why there is no established method for defining one (Astrachan & Carey Shanker, 2003; Carey Shanker & Astrachan, 1996). Since Family Business S cholarship gained prominence in the mid1980Â’s, researchers have changed their focus from one that advocates the complete separation of family and business to one t hat explores the permeability of family and business (Hollander & Elman, 1988).
42 As a result, most family business definitions do ac knowledge the overlap of family and business components (Astrachan et al. 2006; Klein et al. 2005); however, to what extent and for what objective is contestable. Researchers commonly narrow their definition by categorizing family businesses in ter ms of family ownership, family involvement, family management, and potential for s uccession (Winter, Fitzgerald, Heck, Haynes, & Danes, 1998, p. 240). In addition, most d efinitions of family businesses explore how family interaction can have a positive or negative impact on firm performance (Kellermanns & Eddleston, 2004; Le Bret on-Miller & Miller, 2006; Roessl, 2005; Sirmon, Hitt, & Hitt, 2003), and how the tran smission of family values into the business can create a unique and powerful family bu siness culture that offers a competitive advantage over nonfamily owned business es (Denison et al. 2004; Nordqvist, 2005). While it is difficult to deny the importance of the economic contributions of family businesses, this type of sc holarship fails to address how the business influences the quality of life for family members. Some researchers address the impact the family firm has on the family (e.g., Ger sick et al. 1997); however, additional research is needed. I adopt an approach that defines a family business through behavior, and suggests that family ownership and management should shape t he business (Chua et al. 1999). I contend the development of the family is just as im portant as the development of the business, and argue that a real definition of famil y business should illustrate the close connection between the family and business goals. I agree with Chua and her colleagues (2004) that a family business Â“is constituted for t he purpose of achieving the economic and noneconomic goals of a family.Â” As a result, in a family business, Â“the activity of a
43 business and familyÂ” must be Â“intimately connected in the present,Â” and Â“connected over the passage of timeÂ” (Chua et al. 2004). The definition of family business I adopt offered m e a great deal of freedom to explore family business daughters of various ages, company positions, and levels of ownership. In addition, it enabled me to include a wide range of business types and sizes. I did require that family members must have both su bstantial ownership and management of their company. This excluded all family business es from my study that are owned but not predominantly managed by the family. Participants The ages of the family business daughters that I i nterviewed ranged from their early twenties to their late forties. Seven of the women made this job their career, two of the women got out of the family business, and three of the women were working at the business while attending college and do not intend on making a career out of the business. One of the seven women who made the famil y business her career is on a temporary leave of absence from the company while h er children are young (at the time of the interview she had a 4-year-old and 10-monthold baby). She still attends major company meetings and puts together the company news letter from her home; however, she has decided not to work at the company fulltime until her children are older. The education level of the women ranged from some colle ge to graduate school. In addition, ten of the women I interviewed were Caucasian and t wo of the women were Asian. The types of businesses varied from Â“mom and popÂ”size establishments to medium size companies. The smaller businesses were all firstand secondgeneration businesses and included nail salons, restaurants, a nd automobile repair companies. The
44 income produced by these businesses allowed some fa mily members to live a comfortable upper middle class lifestyle, while som e of the families were living pay check to pay check. In fact, months after my interv iews were complete one family business daughter sold her business because she was no longer making any profit. The medium size family businesses all grossed at least 20 million dollars a year, were third generation, were either in distribution or manufact uring, and had multiple locations across the United States. Two of the companies had international locations. Data Collection Procedures While many communication studies investigating dial ectics conducted joint interviews with couples (e.g., Cissna et al. 1990; Sabourin & Stamp, 1995; Sahlstein, 2004; Stamp, 1994; Wood et al. 1994), other dialectical research studies focused on single person interviews (e.g., Baxter et al. 2004a; Baxter & Erbert, 1999; Baxter et al. 2004b; Braithwaite & Baxter, 2006). I chose to inte rview family business daughters alone because I wanted to learn about their perceived fam ilial and business relational tensions. This is opposed to a joint interview process which would enable the discovery of how relational tensions are discursively performed with an intimate partner (Sabourin & Stamp, 1995). I conducted 18 in-depth, face to face interviews with 12 family business daughters using an open-ended, semi-structured yet focused interview guide that allowed the freedom to pursue other topics that emerged (Kv ale, 1996). Using the same interview guide, I conducted one phone interview with a famil y business daughter I had met in person at a previous time and whose family business I had visited. However, at the time the interview was performed she was living in a dif ferent state and we were unable to arrange a convenient time to meet in person. The in terviews were in-depth (see Johnson,
45 2002), which Â“fitsÂ” grounded theory methods Â“wellÂ” because it Â“provides an open-ended, in-depth exploration of an aspect of life about whi ch the interviewee has substantial experienceÂ” (Charmaz, 2002, p. 676). I conducted the interviews at the preferred locatio n of the family business daughters. Half of the respondents chose to do the interview at my office on campus, while the other half wanted to meet at their place of business. I was given permission to tape-record all of the interviews, and I assured al l participants of their confidentiality. The interview times varied from approximately 45 to 120 minutes in length. Furthermore, I either received a tour of or visited the company as a customer for all but three of the family businesses. During the interviews, I asked t he women to share the story of their family and family business. Specifically, they were asked to describe any challenges they experience and if these were viewed as positive, ne gative, or both. In addition, since I was trying to explore the wholeness of relational t ensions, including the various levels of feeling toward tensions (Baxter, 2004b), family bus iness daughters were asked to describe how they felt before, after, and during th e situations they described. Originally, I had planned to interviews all partici pants on three separate occasions. Ongoing interviews allow researchers the ability to gain greater depth and detail of their participantsÂ’ experiences (Charmaz, 2002). I developed a second and third open-ended, semi-structured interview protocol for the second and third stages of the interview process. I conducted three interviews wit h two different women, two interviews with two different women, and one interview with ei ght different women. Emerging life events proved to be one of the most challenging fac tors in the research process and factored into why many of the women could not sched ule a follow-up interview.
46 The women I interviewed were constantly reschedulin g or canceling our meetings. Some family business daughters had lost l oved ones, found out family members they worked with were terminally ill, gotte n engaged, broke bones in their bodies, or had child care issues among other things It was during these moments that I fully realized the extent of the work life tensions that family business daughters experienced and I could literally feel this tension when I visited them. I vividly remember the smell of motor oil as I watched a husband and w ife standing next to each other silently repairing car parts. Sadie owned her own g arage and her only employee was her husband. For months, she kept postponing our schedu led interviews because her husband was out of state visiting his dying father. When he was at his fatherÂ’s deathbed, she alone ran both the business and her home. Weeks after the death of her husbandÂ’s father, she invited me out to the garage so I could interview h er. As I arrived, I walked up behind the two of them working next to each other. I could hea r the clang of wrenches against metal car parts, and if I really concentrated I could hea r the sound of my own breathing. Above the silence was a buzz of discontentment, and liste ning to my own breath helped me alleviate the awkward discomfort I felt. I stood th ere staring at their backs until someone noticed me. I did not want my presence to disrupt s uch an intimate moment of grieving. It was moments like this where the actual context (the family business) of the interview process reflected the relational tensions that fami ly business daughters experienced. Initially, for my methodological inquiry I planned on using a hybrid approach of ethnography and grounded theory techniques; however during the analysis stage I decided to focus mainly on the interview transcript s for my dissertation data. Charmaz and Mitchell (2001) argue that Â“ethnographers can a dopt and adapt grounded theory to
47 increase the analytic incisiveness of their studies Â” (p.160). I was a participant observer at three different family businesses. A participant ob server Â“enters a field setting with an openly acknowledged investigative purpose, but is a ble to study from a vantage point of one or more positions within the membershipÂ” (Lindl of 1995, p. 141). I worked and observed six different times at AbigailÂ’s restauran t, three different times at SimoneÂ’s medical distribution company, and two different tim es at SadieÂ’s garage. I was at each location approximately eight hours each visit and I went to two company outings with SimoneÂ’s business. I was invited to the company Chr istmas party (where I won a digital camera) and a company wide outing to see a professi onal baseball game. However, I decided not to use these observations in my dissertation because they focused on the interaction between family and nonfa mily member employees. This subject matter was outside the range of my research questions. For example, an emerging theme from my field notes was inconsistencies in ho w family and nonfamily members were treated at the family business. At one family business, employees were encouraged to recruit people who did not work at the company b ecause extra help was needed to assemble promotional packages. The helpers were tol d they would be paid $80.00 for their time and could leave after the project was co mpleted. However, while the family members were paid and told they could go home after the completion of the project, nonfamily members were expected to work a full eigh t hour shift. While I do believe research topics that explore the relationships betw een family and nonfamily employees are valuable (e.g., Van den Berghe & Carchon, 2003) this dissertation focuses on family business daughtersÂ’ perceived relational tensions w ithin the family. Also, since I was only able to work with three of the family business daughters I cannot be certain how
48 consistent the emerging themes from my field notes would be with those of the other family business daughters. Obviously, my experience s at these companies have influenced how I analyzed the transcripts. I believ e that seeing family business daughters at work has helped me to contextualize their experi ences and themes from the transcripts. Data Analysis Procedures The interviews were transcribed verbatim, resulting in 812 double-spaced pages of text-based data for analysis. All of the transcr ipts were read in their entirety before being analyzed with a procedure consistent with th e constant comparison approach of grounded theory (Charmaz, 1995; Glaser & Strauss, 1 967; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Initially, interviews were repeatedly listened to a nd transcripts reread until reoccurring themes, issues, and domains of meaning emerged that represented the relational tensions family business daughters experience. At times cate gories were identified by different family business daughtersÂ’ use of the same word or phrase. However, other categories developed from portions of the transcript that did not use the same words or phrases, but rather addressed similar situations, behaviors, or feelings. After this coding of the data, similar to BraithwaiteÂ’s and BaxterÂ’s (1995) resear ch on renewing wedding vows, the next stage of data analysis involved the identifica tion of Â“patternsÂ” or Â“meaning clustersÂ” that would Â“uncover implicit dialectical themes tha t could seemingly organize opposed categoriesÂ” (p. 182). Finally, once these clusters were identified, I diagramed them to see if they fit into a supra-dialectical category. Supr a-dialectics are major dialectical classes including integration-separation, stability-change, and expression-privacy (Baxter & Erbert, 1999). Dialectical tensions specific to a p articular relationship often are a localized representation of a supra-dialectic; alth ough this is not always the case.
49 I discovered that there were sub themes of the supr a-dialectic connection and separation such as business participation and the f amily inclusion/exclusion and business participation as emotional connection/emotional sep aration. However, relational tensions are localized and often do not fit under the cookie cutter mold of a supra-dialectic (Baxter, 2004b). Gender was a major dialectical the me for family business daughters incorporating the sub theme of giving to the busine ss/giving to their children. Finally, similar to BraithwaiteÂ’s and BaxterÂ’s (1995) resear ch, once the dialectical tensions were organized, I reread the transcripts again to lookin g for any information that could disconfirm my findings (see Miles & Huberman, 1994) I reread the transcripts one last time to look for similar themes in the interviews t hat I might have overlooked. Memo-writing was a major part of my analysis and it Â“links coding to the writing of the first draft of the analysisÂ” (Charmaz, 2002, p. 687). One of its purposes is to contextualize a codeÂ’s content by identifying Â“its fundamental properties, looking Â“for its underlying assumptions,Â” and showing Â“how, when and why it develops and changesÂ” (Charmaz & Mitchell, 2001, p. 167). After each inte rview I wrote a descriptive memo summarizing observations, initial thoughts and reac tions. Part of memo-writing involves the researcher explaining the importance of a relev ant theme, and also comparing it to other instances the theme has appeared in the resea rch. This aspect of the constant comparison method Â“balances evidence with theoretic al argumentÂ” (Charmaz & Mitchell, 2001, p. 167). Passion is a theme that I explore in my dissertation, and I initially investigated it as the relational tensions of Â“pass ion needÂ” and Â“passion flow.Â” Family business culture was also a major theme that I also explored. Below is an example:
50 There are so many themes that lead to family busine ss daughters participating in a Family Business Culture. They seem to be socializ ed at a young age that cohesion to the family means cohesion to the family business. I use cohesion to refer to emotional bonding. They bond with family members by bonding w ith the business. Those that donÂ’t bond with the business are perceived as outsiders o f the family culture. Simone rebelled against her father and his business when he first s tarted it up. The family was moving from the northeast coast to Florida so her father c ould start his first business the summer before her senior year of high school. She hated Fl orida, and instead of moving rented a room from one of her friends. Simone would never s uggest that anyone ever do this because she feels she lost a connection that you ca n never get back. I believe she missed the start of the family business and the cohesion t hat each of her family members shared who were there at the beginning of their own family business culture. She had become an outsider to that culture. Now she is closer to her family members that work at the company. This is true for almost all of the family business daughters that I interviewed. Second and third generation business women share th is culture. Joy, a third generation family business daughter shares her first memories of the family business: The youngest memory I have is walking in and doing stuff for the business. Then my grandfather taking my hand and walking me around and visiting a lot of people and him telling them this is the future of t heir company. At that time I didnÂ’t know what he was talking about. My Personal Influence on the Data Through the course of doing research for and writin g my dissertation I became pregnant and had a baby. Charmaz stresses the role the researcher plays in framing their
51 research study. She argues, Â“Categories denote rese archersÂ’ ways of asking and seeing as well as participantsÂ’ ways of experience and tellin gÂ” (Charmaz, 2002, p. 689). I cannot help but wonder if my physical appearance influence d how the women I interviewed related to me and the topics they brought up. I do know that becoming a mother greatly influenced how I related to them. I transcribed the interviews pregnant with swollen feet and an aching back; however, I did not begin my ana lysis until after my baby was born. The memo-writing I did indicates how much being a m other influenced what themes I paid attention to: This is my first time writing and listening as a mo m. My first time seeing these women as other mothers, and we are all just doing o ur jobs to take care of our families. However, I understand more what it means to think about how their job is their family. While ironically we both think abo ut how we can negotiate our children and our work. It is no surprise that issues related to motherhood are a large part of my dissertation because it was the most significant aspect of my li fe when I analyzed the transcripts. Regardless if I became a mother or not, I still bel ieve that motherhood would be a major theme for family business daughters. I only intervi ewed one of the family business mothers late in my pregnancy, and I interviewed hal f of the mothers before I was even pregnant. I honestly believe this life changing exp erience for me, influenced what I focused on in the transcripts more than it influenc ed what they shared about their lives.
52 Chapter Three: Family Business Daughters and Family Business Participation Â“As long as I can remember, my father owned his ow n businessÂ” Abigail tells me. Her father named his small paper product busine ss, the T. Jones Company, after himself. He sold Â“pretty much anything made out of paper and plasticÂ” to other small business in the Northeast. Every day T. Jones Â“woul d call up his customers and see what they needed,Â” and every day T. Jones delivered pape r bags, paper plates, paper napkins, and plastic silverware to restaurants and stores. A s a little girl, Abigail remembers her fatherÂ’s absence more than anything. In our first e mail correspondence she explained to me what growing up with a father who owned his own company was like. She wrote: I remember him having to go to work on Fathers Day and Mothers Day and The 4th of July, when other Dads were home having famil y meals or picnics. I remember him working late many nights and missing o ur evening family meal. I remember him working late in his office doing paper work when it was time to tuck me into bed at night. I remember wanting him t o play with us, but he was stuck in his home office catching up on orders. Absence is a common experience for children who gro w up with a family business. This is especially true for children whos e parents are first generation business owners or the business founders (Gersick et al. 1997). As Abigail grew older, the T. Jones Company did more than just occupy all of her fatherÂ’s time, it occupied AbigailÂ’s time. She described her fatherÂ’s business as someth ing that Â“pretty much consumed all of
53 our (her familyÂ’s) lives.Â” Her father was the owner and only employee of his company, so he recruited his immediate family members as unpaid employees. She explained: He didnÂ’t have any employees so we were kind of rec ruited to go out on the weekends and during the summer time when we werenÂ’t in school and help him make all of his deliversÂ…And then when we were old enough to drive, actually he got another vehicle and we went out separately on o ur own. As an adolescent, Abigail resented the family busin ess because of the demanding lifestyle it created for her family. The summer bef ore her senior year of high school her family decided to move to a new state. She said, Â“I started my senior year in a completely different place. Had no friends, nobody. You know i tÂ’s supposed to be like the best year of high school. It sucked.Â” AbigailÂ’s familyÂ’s deci sion to move made her resent the family business. However, not participating in the move would have risked disconnecting her from her immediate family. Abigail swore she wo uld Â“never own my businessÂ” because she Â“never wanted the same stress my father had.Â” Ironically, as an adult she opened two restaurants with her husband. When they acquired their first restaurant her new status of a business owner made her feel connec ted to her father. She said, Â“I of course had to call and tell him that I was doing so mething that I said I would never do and it was all his faultÂ….So I am following in his footsteps.Â” Children such as Abigail who grow up with a family business participated in a unique family business Â“cultureÂ” where the family b usiness is an integral part of their family (Gersick et al., 1997; McCann, 2006). Abigail clearly feels connect ed to and separated from her father because of the family bus iness during different stages of her life. The contradiction of connection/separation is central to the experience of family
54 business daughters. This chapter explores how famil y business daughters experienced the relational contraction of connection/separation. I begin by describing theoretical aspects of the di alectical tension of connection/separation. Next, I explore the localize d version of this tension as it shows up in the experience of family business daughters, par ticularly as they grapple with their overlapping roles of Â“good workerÂ” and Â“good daught er.Â” Next, I examine the connection/separation contradictions in light of th e concept of relational currency. Finally, I draw on relational dialectics to investi gate how family business daughters addressed these tensions through practices of segme ntation and recalibration. Dialectical Tensions: Connection/Separation The dialectical tension of connection and separatio n, which addresses the Â“balance between Â‘meÂ’ and Â‘we,Â’Â” is a hallmark of f amily relationships (Miller Day, 2004, p. 99). It is an example of a supra-dialectic or a major dialectical class, and the tensions specific to family business daughters are its localized representations (Baxter & Erbert, 1999). Every relational contradiction I exp lored in my dissertation is molded by the unique rhythms, circumstances, priorities, and values of each family business daughter. But since this connection/separation cont radiction is central (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996) to the relationships of family bu siness daughters, it can be viewed as an Â“anchor strand.Â” In the context of close relatio nships, an anchor strand provides the common threads through which other dialectical oppo sitions are woven (Miller Day, 2004). In my research, I found the tensions of conn ection/ separation were expressed in the way that judgments about family membersÂ’ Â“inclu sionÂ” and Â“exclusionÂ” (including degrees of emotional connection/separation) were li nked to their business participation.
55 Unity is a major characteristic of relational diale ctics because it provides a framework to explore the wholeness of contradiction Relational dialectics offers an alternative to perspectives that merely identify op position in relationships and rejects connection/separation Â“contradictionÂ” perspectives that assume the more dependent a person becomes on another person the less independe nce that person has (Baxter, 2006). Dialectical tensions exist in relationships; theref ore, people do not Â“negotiate awayÂ” their dependence or independence (Baxter & Montgomery, 20 00). Baxter (2004b) argued that contradictions are authored through simultaneous un ity and opposition, meaning that Â“discursive oppositesÂ” simultaneously Â“complete, en hance and enableÂ” while at the same time they Â“limit or constrainÂ” (Baxter, 2004b). Thi s notion draws attention to the both/and characteristic of dilemma. As opposed to e xperiencing the connection separation contradiction as enabling or limiting, f amily business daughters experienced the tensions concurrently as both enabling and limi ting. For example, although Abigail did not like working at her fatherÂ’s business, it w as the only way she really got to spend time with him Working at the business was good beca use it connected Abigail with her father; however, she had a strong desire to separat e herself from the family business because she did not like the lifestyle it created f or the family. The bonds between Abigail and her family were intertwined with the demands of the business. Business Participation and the Dynamics of Inclusio n/Exclusion Within the context of the family business, family m embers often equate business participation with family involvement (Jaffe, 1990 ). According to Gersick et al., (1997) family members who are not part of the business are often made to feel as if their parents do not feel as close to them or think as highly of them as siblings who participate
56 regularly in the family firm. Family members who ar e involved in the family business become a part of something their parents are very p assionate about and also often become passionate about the business (McCann, 2006). The f amily business daughters I interviewed equated familial connection with family business involvement; however, this occurred at various levels for each of them. The mo re they participated in the family business, the more connected they felt to their fam ily. Olivia was in her mid-twenties when she began worki ng fulltime for her grandfatherÂ’s shipping company. For months, her gra ndfather courted her to join the company after he discovered she had established a s uccessful career in property development. The 35-year-old remembered feeling lik e she had an Â“outsiderÂ’s perspectiveÂ” when she first joined the firm because so many elements of the family and family business were Â“foreignÂ” to her. Ten years la ter, Olivia is delighted when people mistake her for her grandfathers Â“daughterÂ” because she is Â“closer toÂ” him than her Â“own father.Â” She described her father, as the Â“black sh eep of the familyÂ” because he did not make a career out of the family business. After a failed career in social work, 24-year-old J oy joined her familyÂ’s medical distribution company two years after she graduated from college. She started off working part-time in the HR department, but was recently pr omoted to Human Resource Liaison and Coordinator. After showing me a business card w ith her new title, she commented that she Â“doesnÂ’t connect with the family members t hat donÂ’t work with us;Â” however, she felt very Â“closeÂ” to the family members she wor ked with. Eight years ago, Tonya began her career at her grandfatherÂ’s warehouse by answering phones at the front desk. After getting her masters degree in human resources the 35-year-old is now the HR
57 specialist. She said the Â“bondÂ” she had with family members that worked at the company Â“feels differentÂ” than with those who did not work there. SimoneÂ’s father bought a medical distribution compa ny in the mid 1970Â’s that required the family to move from New England to Sou thern Florida during her senior year of high school. The culture shock she experien ced as a result of moving from a Â“preppieÂ” northeast area to, at that time, the rura l southeast was too much. She said, Â“I lasted about a month and then I found some place wh ere I could live and I begged them and pleaded and finally they gave in and I went and lived with a friend.Â” However, when Simone reflected back upon her decis ion she regretted it. She would never suggest that anyone in her position do the same thing because of how emotionally separated she felt from her family. She said, Â“I donÂ’t know if IÂ’d ever suggest that of anyone.Â” She then explained how lea ving her family at that time transformed her family membership and made her an o utsider. She commented, Â“Even if you are back, you never really belong againÂ…because youÂ’re, I guessÂ…I donÂ’t know. What defines you, your familyÂ…is no longer there. S o itÂ’s kind of strange. I mean I was back, but I didnÂ’t really belong.Â” Furthermore, she felt she should have given the situation more time to work out. She explained, Â“Ma ybe if IÂ’d stuck it out. And now as an adultÂ…I have a three month ruleÂ….everything takes t hree months and then it is better.Â” Family business children learn at a very young age that the family business is central to their relationships with family members (Gersick et al., 1997). Few of the family business daughters I interviewed can remembe r a time when the business was not in their lives. In addition, almost all of them hel ped their parents with the business when they were small children. Tonya remembered she star ted helping at her grandfatherÂ’s
58 warehouse when she was only 10 years old. She said that the company Â“started before I was born,Â” explaining that Â“every time a grownup in our family would talk about the business it was there. It, itÂ’s kind of always been there.Â” Joy, a third generation family business daughter described her earliest memory of the family business. She said. Â“The youngest memory I have is walking in and doing stuf f for the business. And then my grandfather taking my hand and walking me around an d visiting a lot of people, and him telling them this is the future of their company an d stuff.Â” ReneeÂ’s father was a doctor and owned several docto rÂ’s offices where she worked. The 26-year-old graduate student remembered that ever since she was Â“old enough to put on a straight sticker,Â” she and her s iblings spent their Saturday mornings sorting out checkup reminders that were to be maile d to patients. She said, Â“I remember these huge mailbags in our denÂ….We would mail hundr eds of them. Me and my sister and brother would sit there and spend hours putting these little sticky labels on the cards.Â” In the examples above proximity to the family and t he amount of time spent with family members is an undeniable factor in determini ng how connected or separated to their families these family business daughters felt Family business daughters who work at the family business have strong social networks with family members because they spend so much time together (Lyman, 1988). The fami ly business daughters I interviewed spent time Â“at workÂ” with family members they other wise would have had less contact with. Many of the women who worked at the business while in college considered the time they spent with their family members a benefit of working with family. Tonya said one Â“perkÂ” of working at a family business is that you get to Â“see your family more.Â”
59 Monica worked at her parentsÂ’ deli part-time and at tended college fulltime. The 20-year-old considered her schedule very hectic, an d missed spending time with her mother since she moved out of her parentsÂ’ house tw o years ago. She liked working at her parentsÂ’ deli because she saw her parents while she worked. She said, Â“I like working with my, like seeing my parents. Of course I get to see them once a week at least.Â” She noted that she feels more connected to her father t han before: Â“It brought us closer. Um, when I wasnÂ’t working there IÂ’d be just up at schoo l and not really come down as much. I wouldnÂ’t see him as much.Â” She also explained that working at a family business allowed her to see family members who do not work at the re staurant. Her Â“grandparents come so I get to see them so itÂ’s good. Â…They normally come in a couple times a weekÂ…They just eat when IÂ’m there so I eat with them.Â” Viola worked part-time at her family nail salon whi le she attended college fulltime and majored in sports medicine. Since she carpooled with her sisters, the hour car ride on the way to and from work provided a cha nce for them to catch-up. She explained, Â“We just talk about family related stuff Which is good to because then you can catch-up because I am always at work 24/7.Â” Joy also believed working fulltime at her familyÂ’s medical distribution company helped he r relationship with her mother. She said, Â“I see my mom more now. I think that brought us closer.Â” Overlapping Roles of Â“Good WorkerÂ” and Â“Good Daught erÂ” Family business daughters often expressed the idea that they felt less connected to family members who did not help at the business. Ol ivia noted that at holidays she talked more to the family members she worked with than the family members she did not because she Â“shares more with them.Â” Simone felt th at her sister who chose a career path
60 outside of the family firm did not understand how s pecial the business was. She said, Â“I do have a sisterÂ….Not the least bit interested in a ny of itÂ….I donÂ’t know if she really understands itÂ….If you donÂ’t come here and you donÂ’ t see what makes it work I donÂ’t know if you really get the whole the picture of it. Â” In addition, Simone expressed delight when her daug hter Joy decided to permanently work at the company. She commented that it brought Â“a whole other person to the, to the group.Â” SimoneÂ’s language suggests t hat family members who work at the business are considered as included (part of the fa mily business Â“groupÂ”) while those that chose other careers are excluded (not part of the f amily business Â“groupÂ”). Simone noted that even when she first joined the company full-ti me she Â“didnÂ’t getÂ” what was so special about it but she came to realize that the p ersonality of each family member contributed something unique to the Â“group.Â” She sa id, Â“I donÂ’t think that when I first started working, I didnÂ’t get it. That the people m ake it so special.Â” For example, her cousin who has a law degree provided a legal perspe ctive, while her brother-in-law is a Â“jokerÂ” and offered an element of fun. She also exp ressed that when her children succeed the company, the group they are a part of will have its own distinctive personality. Some family business daughters felt that family mem bers who did not help at business did not care about the family. Loretta and Viola were particularly outspoken on the subject of their siblings. Viola was angry at h er youngest brother for never working at the family nail salon. She described him as the Â“ot her boyÂ” who Â“doesnÂ’t do anything.Â” Even though she said he was Â“handicapped,Â” she felt that Â“he always uses that as an excuse.Â” She explained, Â“I know him. HeÂ’s pretty br ight. ItÂ’s just heÂ’s lazy.Â” Her Â“lazyÂ” brother suffers from a disease that has caused him to have webbed feet and hands. When
61 Viola described her brother in a context not associ ated with the family business she spoke positively about him. She remarked, Â“HeÂ’s pretty br ave though. HeÂ’s gone through so many surgeriesÂ…When he walks in there (the hospital )Â…they know him.Â” ViolaÂ’s account illustrates the relational tensions she see ms to experience with her brother. On the one hand, she is empathetic toward his disabili ty and considers him brave. On the other hand, she considers him to be a family deadbe at because he is unmotivated and does not formally work at the nail salon: Â“If he ha d a motivationÂ…If you lack motivation you donÂ’t carry on with what you want to do.Â” She d isassociated him from the Â“motivatedÂ” members of her family who worked at the salon. Her two oldest sisters sacrificed going to college to work with their moth er fulltime, a gift she believes they gave to her. Â“If they didnÂ’t work fulltime here I m ight have to,Â” she said, Â“They work because they care about the family.Â” Viola linked t he idea of Â“caringÂ” to business participation; however, she seemed to minimize the informal child care contributions her brother provided for the family. Her older sisters brought their toddler age children to work every day and on occasion her brother watched them. She said, Â“My brother the one that stays home and is lazy. HeÂ’ll watch them whene ver they want to stay home.Â” Loretta worked at her fatherÂ’s restaurant and atte nded college fulltime. The 24year-old participated in the business because she c ared about her family. She said, Â“I care about it. I, I care about my dad.Â” Like Viola, she had little respect for her Â“lazyÂ” 21-yearold brother who did not work for his father and rar ely had a job. While Loretta worked all day with her father, her brother Â“would sleep in un til one or two oÂ’clock in the afternoon and not do anything and stay on the computer all da y.Â” She resented him because he did
62 nothing for their father, while she worked for him fulltime and attended college. She spent so much time at the restaurant that she event ually had to take a break from college. Loretta believed her brother was not concerned with the family finances because he asked his father for money to buy Â“gas and food. Â” Finances worried Loretta Â“more than anything.Â” She commented her brother Â“should b e concerned about money but he is not.Â” Her issues with her brother were exacerbated by the fact that although she had financial hardships while attending college, she ne ver asked her family for money. She commented, Â“You know he would rely on my dadÂ…My dad has given him thousands and thousands of dollars beforeÂ… Even whenÂ…I need help I wouldnÂ’t ask for it.Â” Moreover, Loretta framed her willingness to help as expressing care for her father, and framed her brotherÂ’s unwillingness as e vidence that he did not care. In her mind, since she Â“cared moreÂ” about her father, she is a better worker than her brother. As a result, her dad needs and values her presence mor e than her brotherÂ’s. She noted: My dad, for some reason, just always relied on me b ecause he could. My brother doesnÂ’t really care. HeÂ’s pretty selfishÂ…but my bro ther wouldnÂ’t do as good of a job. He wouldnÂ’t care aboutÂ…what my dad was doing a t the time. He wouldnÂ’t care about the business enough to do a really good job Alexandra voiced themes strikingly similar to Lore ttaÂ’s. She believed her care and concern for her parentsÂ’ restaurant made her a bett er worker than her brother. She worked with her parents 12 hours every day, while her brot her helped on his day off from his job. Alexandra thought that her brother was a bad worker and that her parents preferred her to work. She said, Â“His restaurant skill is not as goo d as meÂ…And my parents would feel better when IÂ’m there. They know that IÂ’m able to h andle their stuff, everything out
63 there.Â” Furthermore, Alexandra felt an emotional at tachment to her work because it contributed to her parents. She said, Â“I work becau se I care about what happens to my parents. I have a responsibility to help them. The business is how they pay their bills.Â” These family business daughters interweave notions of Â“good workerÂ” and Â“good daughter.Â” Since caring about the family business i s directly linked to being a good worker, family business daughters expressed their c are through their participation at the family firm. They equate the formation of emotional connections with the family business to the formation of emotional connections with family members who also care about the business. Family relationships were perfo rmed within the context of the family business and family membership is judged based upon these performances. Family business daughters viewed family members who did no t participate in the business as less caring than those members who participate. Business Participation as Relational Currency Family business daughters equated family business p articipation with family participation, and learned at a young age their bus iness contributions helped their families economically. Formal and informal contributions are one way family business daughters emotionally connected with family members. As a res ult, their family business contributions are examples of relational currencies or Â“communication behaviors that carry meaning about the affection or caring dimensi on of human relationshipsÂ” (Galvin, Bylund, & Brommel, 2008, p. 122). These exchanges a re symbolic and relationships become stronger if partners agree upon the meanings of their symbolic exchanges (Stephen, 1984). Examples of relational currencies may include self-disclosure, listening, physical touch, money, food, favors, service, and t ime together (Galvin et al., 2008). Our
64 family-of-origin teaches us what kinds of behaviors count as expressions of care and what behaviors do not count as such (Wilkinson, 200 6). My interviews made clear that contributions to the business are regarded by both the daughters and their families as a powerful currency. Joy is a 24-year-old third gener ation family business daughter who worked her first fulltime position at her parentsÂ’ company as an HR representative. She feels good about working at the family firm because she realized that her contributions helped both the company and the family. She said, Â“ It helps to know my family is there with me, and that IÂ’m helping them out. And that IÂ’ m also helping the company out so. I care about them both so itÂ’s nice to give to them b oth by working here.Â” Tonya is also a third generation family business da ughter who worked in the HR department at her grandfatherÂ’s warehouse. In contr ast to her experience working at other organizations, she believed the new leadership prog ram she initiated at the company contributed to her family and connected her to them emotionally. She noted, Â“At first, I didnÂ’t know if my grandfather understood why they w ere important. But, once he saw them work I could tell he was proud. I, I think it is good for my family. I, I feel closer to him. I never felt this at other places.Â” Monica commented that working at her parentsÂ’ deli made her feel closer to her family. She said, Â“It makes me feel a lot more conn ected to them.Â” She felt particularly close to her mother and believed that she is more l ike Â“a friend or a coworker rather than just a daughter.Â” As a result of this emotional con nection, she expressed her care by helping her mother at work. She explained, Â“If my m om had a bad day IÂ’ll call her, and IÂ’ll say, Â‘OK what can I do to help?...Should I sta y later and help you out on something?Â’ So we kind of play off each other.Â”
65 In the course of my interviews I had the opportunit y to see a husband and wife emotionally connect Â– and then and disconnect Â– in the context of their family business. Sadie and Sammy were the only employees at SadieÂ’s garage, so they exclusively depended on each other at work. In a four month tim e period, the couple suffered two family emergencies that took both of them away from the garage at different times. Their story illustrates vividly how business participatio n can operate as a form of relational currency through service, and how the family busine ss is central in negotiating the emotional connection/separation contradiction. I wa s particularly touched by their story because their business and marriage did not survive SadieÂ’s story began on December 26th when SammyÂ’s father was rushed to the hospital because of kidney complications. The docto r told Sammy there was not much time, so he flew to Baltimore on New Years Day to s pend time his dying father. Sadie explained, Â“So itÂ’s pretty much, the whole month of January he was in Baltimore more than he was here. So itÂ’s been a stressful couple m onths. ItÂ’s been just me taking care of the shop and the house.Â” March was also a stressful month. While carrying a n alternator to her truck, Sadie tripped on a tree root, fell down and broke her ank le. Sadie described all of the limitations she experienced because of the break. She revealed, Â“I havenÂ’t been able to work back on my work benchÂ…I think I can work some from just sit ting in the wheelchair. You know put things in my lap. But so far I havenÂ’t been abl e to.Â” She explained things in her life were Â“frustrating becauseÂ…everything has to be put on holdÂ….I canÂ’t even drive.Â” Sammy is suddenly in the same position that Sadie w as in. She said, Â“When he was in
66 Baltimore I was on my own at the shop and I was bas ically doing everything heÂ’s doing now that IÂ’m laid upÂ….Doing it all by myselfÂ…we, um I managed to muddled through.Â” Like other family business daughters, her involvem ent in the day-to-day business operations fostered emotional connections to the fa mily member she worked with: in this case, her husband. She said, Â“The situation with Sa mmyÂ’s dad has brought us closer. ItÂ’s a hard thing to go throughÂ…I think it can be a test ing time on a relationship. So in that sense, itÂ’s probably a positive thing.Â” Furthermore she believed that since she gave to Sammy, he was more willing to give to her. Sadie go t a little choked up when she shared how his fatherÂ’s death and her broken leg had conne cted them. She revealed: I donÂ’t know if I had broken my leg before his fath er had passed away if heÂ’d be willing to handle the fact that I need so much from him. But I think, since it happened after his father passed away, and he wasnÂ’ t able to do a lot of the things that needed to be done and I did them. I think it m eans a lot to someoneÂ…when someone body else will step-up for them. And, so I think he probably remembers thatÂ…Even though he is a pain in the ass sometimes. SadieÂ’s example illustrates the way that work in a family business translates into a deeply felt connection. She clearly felt that she and her husband were emotionally closer than before they were put in positions where they w ere dependent upon one another. Yet while SadieÂ’s work on SammyÂ’s behalf was an express ion of love, she also felt emotionally distant from him. She advised me, Â“DonÂ’ t ever go into business with your husbandÂ” and went on to explain that she and Sammy were Â“total opposites.Â” Â“We just donÂ’t agree and everything we do is a big freaking fightÂ….When we have fun, we have funÂ…But sometimes he just really aggravates me.Â” Th is made working together in the
67 business difficult for the couple. Sadie noted, Â“We donÂ’t agree at work on certain things. You know like when we moved the officeÂ…He wanted to put the big filing cabinet in this one place, and I said I donÂ’t think that is a good idea.Â…And thatÂ’s when he told me I sounded like my father.Â” Sadie heard this comment a s an insult. At one time, she worked for her dad at his garage and eventually bought it from him. She experienced him as an overbearing boss who would Â“pageÂ” her Â“15 to 20Â” ti mes when she ran errands for him. Perhaps Sadie felt the most emotional distance from her husband because he did not care about her business as much as she did. She explained: IÂ’m more driven. I would like to see the company do more. IÂ’d like to see it grow. I want to see it make moneyÂ….He has no motivationÂ…. He has no drive. No desire. ItÂ’s just a job to him. He is a worker. He wants to put in his 8 hours and then he is done. Some people are just workers. Sadie revealed how upset she was by what she saw as his lack of motivation: Â“ThereÂ’s time when he doesnÂ’t, you know put forth that effor t that irritates me. He just doesnÂ’t care.Â” However, Sammy is the only family member she would work with. She said, Â“I couldnÂ’t work with anyone else in my family even th ough heÂ’s not motivated. HeÂ’s still the only one IÂ’d probably want to work with. I trus t him.Â” Sadie and SammyÂ’s emotional contributions to the garage simultaneously connecte d them and separated them. A year after my last interview with Sadie I ran int o Sammy at a gas station. When I asked him how Sadie was doing he said, Â“Well ther eÂ’s something I need to tell you about her. I just came from visiting her.Â” I was st unned, thinking she was hurt and in the hospital. Â“It started with the businessÂ” Sammy said He explained that the increase in gas prices caused financial difficulties for several bu sinesses in the car industry. Things have
68 been slow for awhile in the garage, and there appea red to be no relief in anytime in the near future. Sammy explained, Â“She just doesnÂ’t wan t to deal with it. It is hard for her to face, so she stopped going there.Â” A few months ago Sadie moved to a nearby town to live closer to her mother and adult son. SammyÂ’s vo ice sounded relaxed as he told his story, but I could see suffering in his eyes. Sammy told me, Â“First we are going to sort out the business. She wants to sell it. And then we will work on us.Â” ItÂ’s SammyÂ’s turn to take care of the business for Sadie. Ever since Sadie stopped going to the garage, he alone has been running it. Some days he just wants to lock the doors and leave. He confessed, Â“It is hard to be th ere every day without her.Â” Once the garage is sold, he never wants to go back to it. Sa die left her garage and her husband. Sammy stayed to take care of the business Sadie alw ays believed he had no motivation for. I believe Sammy stayed to take care of the gar age to save his marriage. Informal Family Business Participation Family business daughters from small businesses, a s compared to those daughters from larger companies, were more likely to help inf ormally without receiving income for their contributions. Whereas every family business daughter I interviewed, but one, who made the family business their career was from a me dium size company that grossed over 20 million dollars a year, most of those who did no t make the business their career did not receive formal financial compensation. However, at one time all the informants worked fulltime or part-time at their family firm. Two of the women I interviewed said they were paid for their services; however, they la ter revealed that the only financial compensation they received were tips from customers As children, family business
69 daughters were rewarded informally for helping in t he form of random allowances, gifts, free room and board, and personal necessities like gas money and toiletries. Renee learned at a young age that contributing to t he family business economically contributed to the family. She takes f or granted that her family members never received formal income for working at their f atherÂ’s doctor offices. In addition to working a fulltime job outside of the family busine ss, ReneeÂ’s mother informally worked at the offices. Renee said, Â“My mom always worked f or my dad. Running errands for the firm on her days off. Balancing books late at night after she put her children to bed, painting and organizing the new offices.Â” Renee sug gests her mother worked for her father because he was too Â“cheapÂ” to hire an office manager. Renee explained this was OK because her motherÂ’s contributions saved the bus iness money and that really saved the family money. She said, Â“Everything she did tha t my dad didnÂ’t have to pay for someone else to do was more money that they kept. S ame thing for us. If he didnÂ’t have to pay his secretariesÂ…then it was just money that stayed in the house.Â” As a result, she felt perfectly happy to receive gi fts for her work at the office. She commented that although her family had never been Â“ big present peopleÂ” participation in the family business was rewarded with gifts. Renee explained, Â“Like my birthday is not until August, but I could say Â‘Oh mom I like that s weater.Â’ She would be like, Â‘do you want it for your birthday?Â’ So theyÂ’re kind of view ed the same way.Â” Even as a woman in her mid-twenties, ReneeÂ’s parents bought her things for working at the business instead of paying her formal wages. She noted, Â“I didnÂ’t ge t paid this summer, but when I moved my mom and I went to Target and to Wal-Mart and I g ot my apartment together and they paid for everythingÂ….They got me a new car. Which i s huge.Â”
70 Among daughters who did not make the family busines s their career, gift giving was the most common form of compensation. Abigail r emembered that although she never Â“ever got any moneyÂ” for helping at her fathe rÂ’s restaurant supply company, her father bought her things for helping him. She said, Â“He would let us get stuff. And, whatever we wanted to get there was no stipulations No kind of it cost this much, or a pair of boots that cost $50.00, or a skirt that cos t $10.00.Â” While some family business daughters, such as Renee believe that their parentsÂ’ informal payments through gifts were Â“huge,Â” other family business daughters decided to get jobs elsewhere so they could receive a paycheck When Abigail was old enough to drive, she decided she Â“really didnÂ’t want to work withÂ” her father Â“anymore,Â” so she got a job Â“working for other people.Â” In fact, all her siblings chose to get a job elsewhere Â“becauseÂ” they Â“werenÂ’t getting paid.Â” Although she was employed and going to high school, she still helped out her father whenever he needed it. This put Abigail in a position many family business women are in, one where she worked a job earning an incom e while she informally worked at the family firm (Rosenblatt et al. 1985). Abigail commented this was true of all her siblings. Â“We would work and help him out if he was so busy. Like during the holiday timeÂ…I also remember having another job, but I still donÂ’t remember ever getting that pay check, or getting any money.Â” Family business daughters like Abigail continue to work at the family business after making other commitments, such as college or fulltime jobs, because they are emotionally connected to their families. Although L oretta went to school fulltime and had a part-time job, she saw the stress her fatherÂ’s re staurant caused him. She confessed that
71 seeing him in a situation where he had to work so h ard made her feel bad for him. She felt a responsibility to work at his restaurant so he would not have as much to do. She said, Â“That really put a lot of stress on meÂ….When an employee would call off sickÂ…it would be on himÂ…He would have to pick up the extra slack. ThatÂ’s what you do when you own your own businessÂ….You do work hardÂ….I had to help him.Â” Although LorettaÂ’s grades began to suffer and she h ad little time for a social life, she never hesitated to help at the restaurant. She said, Â“He would wake me up at like 4:30 in the morning andÂ…the girl who usually opened was sick. I would have to wake up early and go in and miss what I had planned, sometimes cl ass. IÂ’d have to work on the weekend when IÂ’m planning on having off the weekend Â….it was pretty stressful.Â” The fact that Loretta was so willing to help her fa ther manage his work load, even though it increased her work load illustrates that family business daughtersÂ’ participation at the family business is more than just driven by considerations of economic wellbeing. Their family membersÂ’ emotional needs and concerns are major factors that encourage them to participate. Parental or partner stress ass ociated with working too much was a major theme in the interviews. Since she was a chil d, Monica Â“knew how hardÂ” her parents worked at their deli and that their jobs we re stressful. She confessed, Â“They are so stressed out. They donÂ’t have a life. And all they do is when they get home, go shower, eat dinner and go to bed.Â…ItÂ’s just so much on them TheyÂ’ve been out there doing it for twenty something years. They get tired.Â” Furthermor e, she indicated that she hopes her help at the deli makes their lives easier. She said Â“I think it helps my parents that I work there so at least we can spend time together while at work. If I didnÂ’t, I think they would be more stressed because we would never see each ot her.Â”
72 Family business daughters suggested that one reason why they want to help their parents alleviate business-related pressure is beca use their parents have worked hard to provide for them. Alexandra did everything she coul d to help her parents because of all the sacrifices they have made for her and her broth ers. She became their translator at the age of 14 when her family moved from Vietnam to the United States. As a teenager, she helped her parents negotiate the paperwork on the h ouse they bought, and as an adult she did all of the bookkeeping for both the restaurant and their home. She sees the role she played as one that helped her parents transition to their new life in America. She said, Â“We change a lot. I think my parents have to get us ed to the situation here (in the U.S.).Â” Furthermore, she believed the reason why her parent s moved to a different country was to help their children. She noted, Â“The reason why they wanted to move here was for my brothers and my education.Â” She felt sh e had a Â“responsibility to take care ofÂ” her Â“parents,Â” including Â“helping them retire.Â” She said, Â“they have to work seven days a week when other people get at least a day of f a weekÂ…I know that theyÂ’re working really for me and my brothers.Â” Like other family business daughters, AlexandraÂ’s participation in the family business is motivated by concerns about her familyÂ’s economic status as well as their emotional wellbeing. Handling the Tensions: Segmentation and Recalibrati on Family business daughters who adopted their parents Â’ problems as their own can be seen as responding to the connection/separation dialectic through the practice of segmentation. Segmentation is focusing on one side of the contradiction dependent upon a personÂ’s perceived needs. This implies that we sh ift our focus to different polarities as our needs change (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). Often these women would do so much
73 for the family business that they were unable to ac complish their own personal goals. The daughters segmented the contradiction by focusing o n themselves and distancing themselves from their parentsÂ’ problems, or by focu sing on their parentsÂ’ problems and prioritizing family business goals over their own. Other family business daughters responded to this t ension by what Baxter & Montgomery (2000) call recalibration, or reframing the contradiction so it no longer felt like a contradiction. These women reframed the fami ly business as a resource provider; therefore, working at the family business enabled t hem to simultaneously accomplish their personal goals and the goals of the family bu siness. Segmentation: Family Business goals vs. Personal go als For some family business daughters the desire to em otionally and economically contribute to their family was so great that they t ook on their parentsÂ’ business problems as their own. Renee shared that only when she reali zed she took on her fatherÂ’s problems could she have a healthy relationship with him. She explained, Â“I came to terms with my relationship with my dad and didnÂ’t take his proble ms as my problems you know. And I was like OK this who he is, itÂ’s not my fault.Â” Another family business daughter noted that as a te enager she helped at the family business as often as she could until, Â“I realized t he problems associated with owning your own business were my fathers, not mine.Â” One family business daughter I interviewed recognized this during adolescence. Although she wa nted to help out at the business because Â“its family,Â” she also wanted to separate h erself from it. She said, Â“When I was little, I always wanted to go away from the company I didnÂ’t want to be a part of the companyÂ….I didnÂ’t feel the real need to.Â” She expla ined that her parents worked all the
74 time, and she did not want to be put in a similar s ituation. She noted, Â“I wanted a less stressful job. Like working with animals. My parent s chose to own a business I did not.Â” Other family business daughters adopted their paren tsÂ’ problems as their own and tried to solve them. Loretta started working for he r fatherÂ’s cleaning business when she was 16 years old. Her parents were recently divorce d and she liked the time she spent with her father when she cleaned other peopleÂ’s hom es with him. When she was 20 years old he opened a restaurant and she became his first waitress. She explained that she wanted to work with him because Â“I always felt a re sponsibility to, you I guess basically to help him out as much as I could.Â” However, Loret ta believed the fast paced rhythm and demands of the restaurant were much more stressful on her father than his cleaning business. She said, Â“I was kind of scared from you know, his, seeing how stressed out he wasÂ…He would work so hard, you know he would go hom e for an hour and sleep and then come backÂ…It was just so draining for him.Â” Loretta felt such a strong Â“responsibility to help himÂ” that she adopted his problems. She said, Â“I let his problems become mine .Â” She noted that she absorbed his anxiety, Â“I just take on all of his stress. I doubl e his stress. I told him that it stressed me seeing him stressed out.Â” Furthermore, she believe d that living with him and seeing the backstage aspects of owing a business exacerbated t he connection she felt to his business problems. She explained, Â“You see behind the scenes The money, the billsÂ… You canÂ’t say donÂ’t get too involved because if itÂ’s your fam ily you are working for you are going to get involved. You are going to care about the bu siness and how itÂ’s going.Â” The responsibility she felt to help her father alle viate his stress caused her to prioritize his needs before her own. She believed t hat she participated more like an owner
75 than an employee. She said, Â“I kind of made it my b usiness because it was my dadÂ’s restaurant.Â” Since she Â“caredÂ” about it, when she h eard about any negative aspects regarding it, such as money, she would Â“try to thin k of ways to change them.Â” As a result, Loretta became her fatherÂ’s go to person because he could Â“trustÂ” and Â“dependÂ” upon her. He requested her to work on her days off because he Â“needed the help,Â” and she would cancel plans in order to work for him. She revealed Â“He would, you know ask me to work an extra shift and I would skip class.Â” Alexandra felt a strong connection to her parents a nd a responsibility to take care of them by working at their family business. Like L oretta, she seemed to adopt her parentsÂ’ problems as her own. She worked at her fam ilyÂ’s restaurant almost every day for 12 hours without pay because she felt she had an ob ligation to support her parents just as they have supported here. She explained, Â“When I wo rk at the restaurant I actually donÂ’t get paid, but I live for free. They help me. IÂ’m tw enty years old now and theyÂ’ve been paying for my billÂ….I have a responsibility to help them.Â” Furthermore, Alexandra felt responsible for helping her parents save money for their retirement. She explained, Â“I should help. And then, my parents once they get old theyÂ’ve got to save their money now so when they get retired and older they can use tha t money.Â” Working at the restaurant without receiving money d id not provide Alexandra resources to pay for college. When I asked her if h er parents helped pay for her tuition she responded, Â“Well I have scholarship and financi al aid so they donÂ’t need to help me on that.Â” However, right after I congratulated for her scholarship she confessed, Â“I actually lost my scholarship last fall. So the fina ncial aid covers both tuition and books.Â” She then explained that her demanding schedule at t he restaurant did not leave her
76 enough time for her schoolwork. She described situa tions where she would come home at midnight after working at the restaurant all day lo ng and then Â“fall asleepÂ” while she was writing a paper due the next day. Instead of attributing low grades to her demanding schedule, she referred to herself as a Â“procrastinator.Â” When I asked her wha t advice she would give someone in a similar situation her response revealed the dilemma s she experienced between accomplishing her own goals and helping her parents accomplish their goals. She responded, Â“DonÂ’t think about the money so much. Ye ah. If you are in school and work like me, I would, I would try to tell them not to p rocrastinate like me.Â” Both of these family business daughters emotionally connected with their parents by contributing to the business while at the same t ime, they experienced a strong desire to emotionally separate. They responded to this contra diction by segmentation. Segmentation refers to the idea that we privilege d ifferent oppositional sides of a contradiction depending upon current perceived need s. This implies that we shift our focus to different polarities at different times (B axter & Montgomery, 2000). I chose to provide detailed examples of both Loretta and Alexa ndra because each of these women addressed the tension of connection/separation by f ocusing on different ends of a polarity. Loretta stopped participating completely at her fatherÂ’s restaurant and focused on her education. For the current moment, she is fo cused on the separation side of the polarity. Alexandra continued to work fulltime at h er parentsÂ’ restaurant without any pay, and her grades continued to suffer. She is focused on the connection side of the polarity. Â“I didnÂ’t want to make that same mistake,Â” Lorett a told me. Â“I wanted to go into nursing school and not have to deal with that major other stress in my life. So I just told
77 my dad, Â‘This is what IÂ’m doing now. IÂ’m trying to focus on my career. I donÂ’t want to be a part of that anymore.Â” Her transition from partic ipating in the business to not participating at all took several months. Initially when she started nursing school she tried to help her father when Â“he absolutely needed it.Â” However, any form of participation in the business was a great source of stress for her. In addition, she described her business participation as an obligati on rather than a choice. She explained, Â“He said that I had the choice. You know, Â‘well you donÂ’t have to work.Â’ And I knew that meant he really desperately needed my help. When I started nursing schoolÂ…I was still trying to help him. It is so incredibly stressful.Â” Even though her participation at the business was f ar less frequent than before, associating herself with the business connected her with her fatherÂ’s problems. She explained, Â“It kind of stressed me out watching him and watching how stressed out he was. And I was in school at the time so it definite ly wasnÂ’t good for me to have even more stressÂ” As a result, after a few months of goi ng back to school she said she Â“just stopped itÂ” with her father. She Â“quit and went to work somewhere else.Â” As a result of Loretta focusing on the separation side of the polarity, she clearly distinguished her problems from her fathersÂ’ proble ms. She said, Â“I wish I could help him, but I need to help myselfÂ…I need to rely on my selfÂ…I feel bad, but I just canÂ’t worry about his problems right now.Â” Furthermore, s he constantly tried to become less and less involved with the business. For example, i n an attempt to Â“distanceÂ” herself from his Â“problemsÂ” she made a rule that no one is allow ed to discuss the business around her. She explained, Â“I donÂ’t want to hear about that bec ause I have my own problems.Â”
78 After Loretta quit working for her father, he sold the restaurant and started his own catering business. Apparently, he decided to st art a less stressful business. I recently saw LorettaÂ’s Face Book page and she seemed enthusi astic about her graduation from nursing school and her new job as an RN at a hospit al. There is a picture of her in a graduation gown standing next to her father. They b oth are smiling, like everyone smiles in graduation pictures, and I cannot help but wonde r how their relationship has changed since the last time I interviewed her. Â“For the fir st time I feel complete,Â” Loretta posted on her Face Book page. Â“I wish the same for my brot her and sister.Â” Unlike Loretta, Alexandra prioritized her parentÂ’s goals over her goals by choosing to help her parentsÂ’ business instead of s pending more of her time and energy at school. She segmented this tension and focused on h ow her business participation emotionally connected her to her parents. She said: Whatever I do, I try to do it for my parents. Like for schoolwork, I couldnÂ’t tell them that I have school I canÂ’t work for you guys. But I know that they really need my help. So I try to squeeze my class in the m orning instead of skipping work to go to class. So my parents are definitely t he most important people. Although she picked work over school, she clearly d id not want to continue in the Â“foodÂ” business when she graduated from college. Sh e wanted to become an accountant and work at accounting firm. Then, she would be abl e to support her parents so they could sell the restaurant. She did not like her cur rent situation, but worked because her parents needed her. She said, Â“I chose not to tell my parents that I donÂ’t like working and going to schoolÂ…I donÂ’t want them to worry too much about my schoolwork and coming to work. They need me at the restaurant.Â”
79 Furthermore, Alexandra is fully aware that her part icipation at the business interfered with her education. She commented, Â“I wo uld say the restaurant is pulling me back from school work. Like, I could have taken aft ernoon classes but I couldnÂ’t because of the restaurant. So I canÂ’t take classes during t he day.Â” However, she believed the only way her parents could successfully support themselv es was by owning the restaurant. She linked her business participation to their financia l security and believed she had a duty to help them pay their bills. She said, Â“If my parents donÂ’t own the restaurant it would be hard for them to go find a job. Cause theyÂ’re older Chinese restaurants they donÂ’t hire older people. I have a responsibility to help at th e restaurant until the house is paid off.Â” Alexandra handled the relational tension connectio n/separation with a strategy of segmentation. She privileged the connection side of the polarity, therefore took on her parents problems as if they were her own. Her parti cipation at the family firm left her with few resources to accomplish her personal goal of going to college. Ironically, AlexandraÂ’s participation in the family business im peded her from getting her accounting degree: the thing that Alexandra believed would all ow her parents to sell the restaurant. Perhaps Loretta and Alexandra addressed the tension of connect/separation with segmentation because they did not integrate their p ersonal goals with the family business goals. Each polarity of the contradiction separatio n/connection represented a different set of goals. Connection represented their parentÂ’s goa ls, and separation represented their goals. These family business daughters were unable to simultaneously work on accomplishing both sets of goals. Working at the bu siness interfered with their college education, which interfered with contributing to th e family and as a result, they had to pick between what they saw as committing themselves to their family, or to themselves.
80 Recalibration: Reframing the Family Business as a P ersonal Resource Although her father still Â“frustratesÂ” her and does not Â“valueÂ” what she does outside of the family business, Renee felt satisfie d with their relationship. Her father had always been an Â“intense person,Â” and since her chil dhood Â“this carried through in the house.Â” She explained, Â“I think he puts a lot of pr essure on himself, and then that puts a lot of pressure on us.Â” Furthermore, she felt his p ressure when she worked at the family business. She said, Â“There are definitely times wor king in his office I feel itÂ…I do something wrong and he likes takes it personally.Â” However, by accepting him, Renee learned to stay emotionally connected to him while she distanced herself from his intensity. She explained, Â“ItÂ’s taken me years to k ind of expect itÂ….My dad, at this point heÂ’s not changing.Â” She identified with him and fel t connected to him. However, she recognized that she is her own person and has her o wn needs. She explained, Â“IÂ’ve just kind of started accepting him for who he is, and IÂ’ m not going to change.Â” When Renee talked about her relationship she addressed both he r fatherÂ’s needs and her needs. She said, Â“I wish I had spent more time working for him during high school. None of us really understood what he was doing. Why was I scooping ic e cream when I could be filing for him?...But I also think thereÂ’s value in having you r own job.Â” Renee has clearly connected with her father; howeve r, she did not feel the same responsibility as other daughters to solve her fath erÂ’s problems. I believe this has brought Renee closer to her father because she gets along b etter with him. She confessed that she was the Â“difficult one growing up,Â” but Â“at this po int,Â” she plays an Â“opposite role.Â” She said she has stopped Â“fightingÂ” with her father abo ut Â“every little thing.Â” Her sister did not understand how Renee worked so closely with her father. Renee noted, Â“The last time
81 I worked for my dad my sister was like youÂ’re insan eÂ…YouÂ’re living at home and working for him. And I was like, yeah it will be fi ne. Because IÂ’ve just accepted thatÂ’s who he isÂ….ItÂ’s not my fault.Â” Tonya stated that she is much happier workings at h er grandfatherÂ’s company now that she realized she is not responsible for hi s actions. When she first started working there, she felt it was her job to Â“keep the peaceÂ” between her grandfather and his employees because he had a bad temper and had a ten dency to Â“fly off the handle.Â” However, she is much happier now that Â“I no longer feel like I have to undo what he does. You know. If he makes someone mad I understan d I donÂ’t have to fix that.Â” The family business daughters above responded to th e connection/separation contradiction by recalibration or reframing. Simila r to Loretta and Alexandra, Monica and Viola attend college while working at their fam ily business, but rather than viewing the family business as a source of anxiety, Monica and Viola viewed the family business as a resource they used to accomplish their goals. In doing this, these family business daughters reframed the contradiction so it no longe r felt like one (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). As a result, they were able to participate i n the family business and help the family while they worked on accomplishing their goals. These family business daughters emphasized the bene fits of working in the family business. They noted, for example, that it allowed them to have a flexible work schedule. A third generation family business daughter comment ed that working at a family firm is Â“a good opportunityÂ” for college age individuals be cause it allows them Â“to do whatever else you want on top of having extra money.Â” Monica worked at her parentsÂ’ deli because
82 of the flexibility. She said, Â“This way I can pick my scheduleÂ…ItÂ’s not where like I donÂ’t have any hours. ItÂ’s just easier with school.Â” Viola felt comfortable adjusting her work schedule to accommodate other things going in her life. She believed she could do this b ecause her coworkers are her family members and would not Â“permanently hold it against herÂ”. She noted how her family members did everything they could to give her time for her school work. She said, Â“They are very flexibleÂ….And sometimes they tell me ahead like if they donÂ’t see many appointments in the appointment book, oh just stay home you donÂ’t have to come.Â” Viola also had a part time job at a physical therapist cl inic so she could gain practical experience for the sports medicine degree she is tr ying to earn. Working with Â“strangersÂ” is not nearly as comfortable for her as working wit h family members. She believed that nonfamily companies were not as accommodating with their policies. She said, Â“The fact that itÂ’s family owned itÂ’s kind of like I kind of can do whatever I want. I mean you donÂ’t want to say that to my sisters who work there.Â” How ever, she feels Â“obligatedÂ” to work her assigned schedule at her other job. She said, Â“ I was always obligated you know to workÂ….Like I could tell my parents last minute I ne ed off but with other places itÂ’s kind of like two weeks notice.Â” Like the family business daughters who adopted thei r parentsÂ’ problems as their own, these family business daughters cared about th e company and experienced workload and time pressures. Viola said, Â“We get very busy. We were so busy on Sunday I was with customers nonstop and was unable to take one b reak all day long.Â” Working the lunch shift at her parentsÂ’ deli was an incredibly stressful experience for Monica. She said, Â“ItÂ’s a, itÂ’s a very stressful place for ever ybody. So itÂ’s just, itÂ’s just a very, itÂ’s very,
83 very busy so. ItÂ’s just any place thatÂ’s busy you g et stressed out.Â” However, instead of feeling responsible for alleviating their family me mbersÂ’ problems by working at the business, their work experiences helped them to ide ntify with their family members. Monica admits if she never worked with her parents, Â“I might not have grasped how busy they are and then understand where they were coming fromÂ….I can completely understand why theyÂ’re so stressed out and not want ing to do anything at home.Â” These family business daughters wanted to help thei r family members, but also wanted to accomplish their own personal goals. They responded to the connection/separation contradiction by reframing th e family business as personal resource so the contradiction no longer felt like o ne. In doing this, they integrated their personal goals and the family business goals. Their work at the family business contributed to the family, while at the same time i t provided them the flexibility they needed for their demanding school schedules. Recalibration: Career Family Business Daughters and Job Positions It is common for family business daughters to work jobs that they have no experience or interest in just because their family needs them to (Dumas, 1992). The career family business daughters I interviewed expe rienced a tension between working a job that needed to get done versus building a fulfi lling career for themselves. What I found particularly interesting is how these women a ddressed this tension by reframing the family business as a resource they used to accompli sh their goals. In some cases they used their position at the company to transform an undesirable job into a career they enjoyed and in others; they created a new position for themselves, thus fulfilling their emotional needs for meaningful work.
84 OliviaÂ’s grandfather repeatedly asked her to join h is industrial shipping company after she had a successful management career in pro perty development. His company expanded and he wanted her to create and run a cent ralized buying office but she was not interested. She said, Â“I had no desire to come to w ork here. We were in heavy manufacturing. All I ever thought it was a male dom inated world.Â” She eventually accepted his offer;Â” however, it was Â“a huge adjust mentÂ” for her. She explained, Â“I went from knowing what I was doing and understood to a j ob I didnÂ’t understand.Â” At first Olivia regretted her decision. She said, Â“IÂ’m going what the hell did I get myself intoÂ…IÂ’m dealing with hardware I donÂ’t know what it is used forÂ….I had a lot of regret. It took a long time for me to adjust. IÂ’m never goi ng to understand thisÂ”. Once Olivia felt as if she no longer had to Â“prove herself,Â” she redirected her attention to the parts of her job she liked and awa y from the parts she disliked. Networking was something she did well in her previo us career, and something she knew would increase her visibility in the industry. She explained, Â“The association book has all companies that are just like us. So I said, Â‘maybe this ainÂ’t all bad.Â’ TheyÂ’re all family owned. IÂ’m starting to call people for advice.Â….So you get support. IÂ’ve made alliances and friendshipsÂ” Also, she hired employees to help her Â“concentrate on the important things.Â” She now has a personal assistant to manage all of her undesirable correspondence, and she has hired another Â“girlÂ” to assist her with the product aspects of her job she does not like. In three years, OliviaÂ’s new position helped increase business profits by 22 million dollars. Her department saves her company millions of dollars a year, and she enjoys her job.
85 Over 20 years ago, SimoneÂ’s father asked her and he r husband to help at his medical distribution company after his brother and co owner died. While she has a degree in marketing and had a successful career in the clo thing industry, at her fatherÂ’s company she performed the jobs he needed someone to do. She said, Â“I started out in the HR because they had no department so they put me in th ere. Which is real interesting because I had no idea.Â” After her work in HR, they changed her position to another job she had no experience in: Â“Then, at one point they realized th ey needed some graphic work done. So they bought a computer and all the graphic software and then they put me in charge of itÂ… I didnÂ’t know how to use computers. I MacGyvere d my way through it.Â” Over time she transformed her position into a marke ting department with nine employees that handles their company-wide promotion al items, websites, and advertising. Although Simone always wanted to have a career in t he fashion industry, she is very fulfilled in her job. She said, Â“Before I thought i t was about the product, but itÂ’s not. ItÂ’s the type of work you do that makes you happy.Â” Simo ne turned her companyÂ’s Â“graphic needÂ” into a niche that only she could fill. Since none of their current employees possessed the skills needed to help her with the se rvices she provided the company, they had to Â“hire outside talentÂ” to work with her. Rece ntly, SimoneÂ’s team created a promotional opportunity for vendors and it is antic ipated to generate Â“a lotÂ” of revenue for the company. Simone has used her family busines s as resource to transform her former positions into the type of career that she w ants. In addition, she has helped her company to diversify, grow, and increase profits. For ten years Abigail hated her job at the restaura nt she and her husband owned. She was Â“in charge of the front of the houseÂ” and m anaged Â“the serversÂ” and Â“customer
86 relations.Â” She also did the book keeping and payro ll. Her husband Joe Â“was in charge of the back of the houseÂ” where he dealt with the kitc hen and ordering. Although she felt the business responsibilities were Â“divided up pretty e venly,Â” she did not like her job. She explained, Â“I donÂ’t think I was put on this planet to be somebodyÂ’s boss,Â” but did the job because she was Â“good at it.Â” Ironically, Abigail a lso believed she was bad at her job because she had no desire to do it: Â“I never really felt comfortable inside my heart that I was a good manager. NeverÂ…What would make me feel l ike I was an effective manage is having a desire to manage.Â” Furthermore, the restaurant demands took a toll on AbigailÂ’s marriage. Six days a week Joe worked the day shift and Abigail worked th e night shift. For ten years she only saw her husband on Sunday when they played golf. Tw o years ago Abigail gave her husband an ultimatum, sell their restaurant or get a divorce. They sold their restaurant and Abigail went back to graduate school. It was always JoeÂ’s dream to own a waterfront restaurant, and now the married couple are new owne rs of Mermaids To Â“avoid repeating past mistakes,Â” she hired enough managers so she and Joe could both work the day shift and she allotted her former responsibilit ies to them. She created a public relations position for herself which allows her to use her recently earned MasterÂ’s in P.R. She explained, Â“IÂ’m going to delegate it out. IÂ’ll just do the marketing and public relations.Â” For ten years Abigail was unhappy beca use she lived her life doing what she perceived others needed her to do. Now, in the move of creative reframing, she has used her business as a resource to create the lifestyle and career that she desires. Olivia, Simone, and Abigail all illustrate that reframing relational tensions increases perceived ways of responding to them. Ins tead of viewing the business as
87 something they needed to take care of, they treated the business as resource that would take care of them. Overtime, these remarkable women transformed their business positions to desirable careers while at the same ti me achieving increased profits. An aspect of recalibration for family business daughte rs involved the integration of personal goals and family business goals. Their examples can be contrasted with Loretta and Alexandra, who responded to similar relational tens ions through segmentation. Loretta and AlexandraÂ’s personal goals and family business goals were kept separate and the women felt they either had to pick between giving t o their families or giving to themselves. Family business daughters who reframed their relational tensions and integrated their family business goals and personal goals are able to give to themselves, their families, and their businesses. In a sense, t hey are responding to the call to Â“problematizeÂ” separate spheres discourse that has been made by work life communication scholars (e.g. Kirby, et al., 2003).
88 Chapter 4: Gender and Informal Family Business Poli cies Â“ItÂ’s a manÂ’s world. It took me quite a few years t o get their trust and their respect. There are still today customers that walk in the door and want to talk to the man.Â” Sadie was explaining the complex role gender has played in owning a garage. Family business women commonly confront challenges because of their gender including: (a) their contributions being under valu ed and minimized, (b) a lack of respect and authority, and (c) negative perceptions of thei r work (Curimbaba, 2002; Dumas, 1988; Dumas et al., 1995; Gillis-Donovan & Moynihan-Bradt, 1990; Lee et al. 2006; Vera & Dean, 2005). Working in the male dominated a utomotive repair service industry magnified the gender bias Sadie experienced. Firsttime customers assumed Sadie ran the front desk and they often preferred to speak to the Â“man in the backÂ” than to her about their car problems. Â“I recently had an older gentleman who came in with a starter that he had at another shop, but he was still having problems,Â” Sa die cracked a mischievous grin. Her husband Sammy, who worked with her, took care of th is customer first. She continued: Sammy did what he thought he needed to do and when the man put it back on the tractor he still had a problem. He came in again wi th the starter, and I told him Â‘OK, letÂ’s talk about what your problem is.Â” Then h e said, Â“well donÂ’t we need him?Â’ And, and I said, Â‘No we donÂ’t need him. LetÂ’s talk about it.Â’ And we ended
89 up solving his problem. When he came back he brough t me these two poems that he had written, autographed and framed. I hung them in my office. Sadie did not get frustrated with this customer, ra ther she was understanding. She explained, Â“He didnÂ’t mean to be offensive. He is j ust an old cowboy. Runs a horse farm.Â” She pointed to her autographed cowboy poems hanging up in the customer service area of her garage, Â“HeÂ’s just a cool old guy. You meet some interesting people.Â” This chapter explores issues of gender related to family business daughters. According to family business scholars family busine ss women are an undervalued resource at the family firm (Dumas, 1992), and fami ly business women who are not owners typically work without pay and job descripti on (Danes & Olson, 2003). Even if family members treat family business daughters equi tably, there are no guarantees others will. Sometimes nonfamily members such as other emp loyees or clients discriminate against family business daughters. For example, oft en husband and wife teams treat each other equitably, while clients treat the Â“wifeÂ” as a subordinate member of the organization (Hollander & Bukowitz, 1990). Coles ( 1997) contends that in large family businesses nonfamily members inside and outside of the company may be biased against family business daughters, while in smaller compani es it typically stems from professionals external to the company. I addressed gender in my interviews with family bus iness daughters by asking, Â“Does gender influence your experiences?Â” Some of t he family business daughters in their early twenties seemed indifferent about the t opic. One replied, Â“I do office work. Maybe if I was a firefighter or something.Â” All of the other women I interviewed, except for Candace a stay-at-home mother, brought the issu e up before I did. Often, the women
90 talked about gender when they described recent chal lenges. After I had turned the tape recorder off, a few women asked if other family bus iness daughters I interviewed had similar experiences. One woman inquired, Â“Is it jus t me? Am I just crazy?Â” I begin by describing the theoretical aspects of po wer and relational dialectics. Next, I explore how gendered patterns play out in t he family business such as expectations that daughters will contribute more th an sons, but also in gendered communication styles and performances. Then I exami ne how the founderÂ’s values create a family business culture that provided flexible po lices for family emergencies, but is less accommodating for family business daughters who are mothers. Finally, I draw on relational dialectics to investigate how family bus iness daughters addressed tensions with the strategy of balance. Critical Sensibility and Gender Assumptions/Bias in Family Businesses Critical sensibility is a critique of power in rela tional dialects. Central to relational dialectics is unity because it implies a multivocal approach to contradiction. Since subordinate voices are often muted by dominant voic es, failure to critically examine hegemonic power structures that reproduce dominant perspectives leads to monologue. Baxter contends that scholars who adopt a dialogica l perspective have an Â“obligation to critiqueÂ…dominant voicesÂ” (Baxter, 2004a, p. 123). Exploring dialectical tensions reveals why certain Â“ideologiesÂ” remain at the cent er of tensions while other ideologies remain at the margins (Baxter, 2004c). The critical aspect of relational dialectics is invaluable in the family business context because i t has the potential to bring to the foreground voices and perspectives that have been m arginalized by hegemonic family business cultures heavily influenced by the founder
91 Family businesses have been said to have a long-est ablished history of reproducing business cultures that favor men and are unconsciou sly biased against women (Francis, 1999). Family business daughters confront issues of unpaid labor, as well as their contributions being minimized (Danes & Olson, 2003; Lyman, 1988) and childcare dilemmas (Cole, 1997). Furthermore, family business scholars contend that family business women are Â“socializedÂ” into accepting invi sible and limiting roles (Salaganicoff, 1990; Curimbaba, 2002). Their implication that wome n are part of their own dominance mirrors critical organizational perspectives that d emand that research question societal assumptions that reinforce Â“dominate-subordinate re lationshipsÂ” (Bullis & Rohrbauck Stout, 2000, p. 73). Like Fine & Buzzanell (2000), I consider gendered social assumptions to be reflected in Â“everyday practices, Â” and thus in this chapter I explore the tensions family business daughters experienced both internally and externally. Internal contradictions include relationship-level tensions whereas external contradictions are comprised of tensions arising in the social and cul tural environment. Furthermore, there is an interdependent relationship between them (Bax ter & Montgomery, 1996). Previous work life research has called attention t o discrepancies between the ways individuals manage work and personal interrelations hips compared to social expectations of how this should be done (Golden, et al., 2006). The interdependence between internal and external contradictions concerning gender in a family business context is complex because family business daughters experience person al level tensions that are compared against both familial and social norms. Family busi ness women who are mothers often work with their parents and siblings who judge them as a worker and a mother (Cole, 1997). Gendered patterns play out in both obvious w ays such as in the expectations that
92 daughters will contribute more of their labor than sons, but also more subtly, in gendered communication styles and performances Gendered Assumptions and Sexism in the Family Busi ness Like other organizations, family businesses reflect and reproduce patriarchy by valuing masculine traits such as aggressiveness ove r feminine traits such as emotionality (Mumby & Putnam, 1992). Gendered realities are Â“sus tainedÂ” and Â“transformedÂ” through Â“interactionÂ” among organizational members and busi nesses Â“guidesÂ” interaction by rewarding certain behaviors over others (Ashcraft, 2004). Family business daughtersÂ’ opinions about how their gender is perceived in the ir industry and company are an integral aspect of understanding external level ten sions. Particularly for family business daughters who made the family business a career it was crucial to negotiate how they performed their gender based upon their own and oth ersÂ’ perceptions of them as female workers. Some of the family business daughters I in terviewed worked in very male dominated industries and their female presence was very conspicuous. Olivia worked at her grandfatherÂ’s industrial shipp ing business and described herself as a Â“female in a male dominated industry.Â” At the first industry convention she was shocked to discover how few female colleagues s he had. She said, Â“I show up, and itÂ’s like a big joke. IÂ’m like the only female pret ty much, besides one other girl named Anna that works in this industry. Everyone knows me I donÂ’t wear a name badge anymore.Â” For the Â“the first few years,Â” she was Â“f reaking outÂ” until she developed confidence in her expertise. Tonya worked at her gr andfatherÂ’s warehouse and chose to work in the HR office because, Â“Clients donÂ’t expec t to work with a woman, and the guys on the floor donÂ’t find it odd that I work in the m ain office.Â”
93 Sadie explained that in the automotive service indu stry, Â“women are not very normal.Â” As a result, Â“when you meet them, you kind of hook up together.Â” Since Sadie owns her own garage and does manual labor, she is e ven a minority among the other female participants in her industry. She explained, Â“Usually itÂ’s a husband wife team and usually the wife is in the office. And the wife doe snÂ’t really get her hands dirty like I do. ItÂ’s the opposite with us.Â” Furthermore, Sadie deal t with customer bias daily in her garage. Although her customers at the garage are no t Â“intentionallyÂ” offensive, at times they were. She explained: When they really have an attitude and I think theyÂ’ re not going to talk to me, IÂ’ll send him (her husband). And IÂ’ll say, Â‘This guy wan ts to talk to a man. He doesnÂ’t want to talk to me.Â’ And, sometimes after my husban d talks to them heÂ’ll tell them, Â‘you need to talk to her.Â’Â…If they really off end me IÂ’ll say, Â‘why donÂ’t you come back later.Â’Â” Abigail felt that she was undervalued in the restau rant business by her male associates. She said, Â“I think that people do look at me from a gender perspective. Like Â‘Oh sheÂ’s just a girl. How is she going to be runni ng this multimillion dollar business?Â’Â” Since only Â“olderÂ” men made her feel this way she a ttributes their bias to generational differences. She explained, Â“A lot of them are olde r. And theyÂ’re like from the old school. You know thatÂ’s how they think about gender I probably wouldnÂ’t say that the younger guys are like that.Â” She commented that Â“yo ung sales menÂ” treat her like Â“the owner of the business;Â” however, older men Â“viewÂ” h er as if Â“sheÂ’s just a girl.Â” As a result, Abigail felt as if she must prove she is wo rthy to be the owner of her restaurant. She noted, Â“I have to prove myself. I have to work extra hard to show I can do this. Even
94 though IÂ’ve proven myself before, on a daily basis I have to accomplish something to prove that I am worthy of this position.Â” Family business daughters in both male dominated an d female inclusive industries clearly claimed they were expected to perform a dif ferent role than men in the industry. Olivia knew that she was treated differently than m en in her industry. She said, Â“I donÂ’t know how to explain it. There is a difference. ItÂ’s a different way they talk to me in their tone of their voice.Â” At work she is Â“toughÂ” becaus e she Â“has to beÂ” being Â“in a male world.Â” She explained that the men she works with o perate under a Â“good old boy networkÂ” and do business in informal situations suc h as going to Â“nudie bars.Â” She has made her mark by being competitive and tough. She e xplained: The hardest part of doing this job is that you are always perceived as, like oh god sheÂ’s a tough little bitch donÂ’t mess with her. But they respect meÂ….But itÂ’s kind of that double edged sword that IÂ’ve lived with tha t it took me a longtime to acceptÂ….In my job IÂ’m one way. And then when IÂ’m ho me IÂ’m another. Furthermore, she believed that her grandfather expe cted her to be the Â“bitchÂ” so her uncles could be social. She noted, Â“I think my grandfather wanted me to come because I was tough and I could be like what they c all the bitchÂ….so my uncles wonÂ’t offend the guy network.Â” Another family business da ughter also claimed at times she has to act tough when dealing with people in the busine ss. She said, Â“I have to put a tough exterior when dealing with vendors or I know they w ill try to cheat me. My husband buys them a drink and tells a joke to get a good price.Â” Although she does it to Â“make the dealÂ” the Â“bitch roleÂ” is not something she feels comfort able doing.
95 While family business daughters had to be Â“toughÂ” b usiness women, they also had to play the role of a Â“softener.Â” Simone believ ed that people perceived her better if she was caring. She commented Â“itÂ’s not just a nega tiveÂ” and that Â“the female always has to do itÂ” because Â“the female is softer.Â” She comme nted: There is a female thing that kind of softens things Vendors are attracted to itÂ…. and thatÂ’s what I hope I bring. Things can get real ly, really, tough and itÂ’s really intense. And, itÂ’s moving so fast, and if I can jus t bring that, that tends to make it more comfortable. I think if people are comfortable maybe, then they react better. Third generation family business daughter Tonya pro vided an example of how care giving was an unwritten expectation in the industry she worked at. She told the story of how a Â“nurturingÂ” sales woman at their company had been replaced by a Â“harshÂ” woman. The harsh woman was having a hard time establishing contacts. Tonya explained, Â“She literally asked us Â‘why do people hate me so much?Â’ At first she was so hard. So everyone said Â‘youÂ’re not understanding.Â’ Well I th ink she realized so she started to take that role like a caregiver.Â” Like Simone Tonya felt Â“it isnÂ’t necessarily a bad thing.Â” Family business daughters explained that they were critiqued if they were perceived as too harsh. This was particularly true if they were giving feedback. Abigail blamed herself for being Â“misinterpretedÂ” while giv ing feedback, and created the personal goals Â“to communicate appreciationÂ” and Â“t o not be impatientÂ” with others. She worked hard at not offending others with her Â“harsh Â” style. She explained, Â“I donÂ’t mean to be harsh. I donÂ’t mean to be cruel. But sometime s I say things and people are like, Â‘well you donÂ’t have to say it like that.Â’ I think that they think I said it like they are stupid.Â” She blamed herself for the Â“miscommunicati on,Â” and believed that she was
96 responsible for changing her actions. She said, Â“I try to be aware of how it comes across. Very important to not be misunderstood, and itÂ’s, i tÂ’s totally me that has to work on this. ItÂ’s not themÂ…I try to make sure that IÂ’m communica ting effectively and not hurting anybody with my impatience.Â” Other family business daughters also believed they were criticized for being too aggressive when they delivered feedback; however, t hey attributed the negative perceptions to the fact that their position at work was higher than their position at home. At work, Sadie felt as if her husband took her feed back as Â“harshÂ” because he had a difficult time accepting his wife was in a position of power over him. She said, Â“We are husband and wife, but when weÂ’re at work itÂ’s a bus iness and you know you donÂ’t necessarily always have time to be as gentle as a w ife should possible be. I am the boss. You know so. ItÂ’s the way it is.Â” However, at home their Â“positionÂ” was Â“more equal,Â” and Sammy responded more favorably when she disagre ed with him. Sadie also believed that because Sammy is a man, his feelings got hurt easier. She noted, Â“I think when you have a husband and a wife that work together, just the wife is the stronger of the two. Stronger personality, stronger motivation, stronger all the way around. But I think that, um, men tend to get their feelings hurt even though their not supposed to.Â” She tried to resolve the situation by making her husband tougher She said, Â“I finally told him when IÂ’m at work IÂ’m working. IÂ’m sorry if I hurt your f eelings, but you need to get on with it.Â” Simone believed that it was better for her husband to have Â“confrontationsÂ” with their employees than her because Â“they take it easi er from him.Â” When she had to confront her employees about not filling an order f orm out correctly she felt they Â“labeledÂ” her Â“a corporate bitch.Â” She explained, Â“ You just can feel it. You can just tell.
97 There is a differenceÂ…I have a feeling that, imagin e you are out walking and people are like Â‘move away.Â’Â” After her confrontation, she fel t as if her employees avoided her. She explained, Â“No one would come near me. They went to everybody else for an answer, and they need to come to me but itÂ’s almost like th eyÂ’re afraid. And I, I feel really bad.Â” Family business women who did not make the family b usiness their career were expected to work at the family business, while thei r brothers were not. Gender inequity is illustrated by who participated and who did not par ticipate in the family business. In my research male siblings did not participate at the s mall sized family businesses; however, it was typical for them to hold positions of power in the medium sized companies that grossed over 20 million dollars a year. In the intr oduction of my dissertation, I introduced Alexandra who worked almost every day at her family Â’s restaurant while going to school fulltime. AlexandraÂ’s case shows the intersection o f gender, ethnicity, and business size. Ethnicity is a major factor in how Alexandra identi fied with her parents and the family business. As noted earlier, Alexandra believ es Â“The American way of thinking and the Chinese way of thinking is very different.Â” It is likely that she is operating under a Confucian Value System, typical in Asian family b usinesses, where children respect and serve their parents (Yan & Sorenson, 2006). It is an unspoken expectation that all family members, including children, are responsible for the business and should prioritize it (Song, 1996). Alexandra is the only female child in her family and the only sibling who worked permanently with her parents, while her two older brothers had fulltime employment outside of the family business. Moreover only one of them helped at the restaurant on his day off from his other job. Her o ther brother, who is in the army, lives too far away from the restaurant to help. In an Ame rican business context, AlexandraÂ’s
98 status as a female may be even lower than if she we re in an Asian society and her brothersÂ’ needs more prioritized. According to Cho (1998) under a Confucian value system Â“womenÂ’s statusÂ” is higher in societies wher e Â“the domestic realm itself becomes a locus of social, economic, and political powerÂ” ( p. 188). Therefore, Alexandra reacted to the relational tensions she experienced from bei ng part of a family business very differently than her male siblings. In fact, AlexandraÂ’s brother who helped at the res taurant on his day off of work from his other job, is the only male sibling who wo rks regularly at a small sized family business. As noted in the previous chapter, family business daughters often referred to their brothers as lazy because they did not offer t heir services at the family firm. There was one instance in my research where a family busi ness brother opened up the same type of business as his parent, as opposed to worki ng with his parent. Instead of working at his motherÂ’s nail salon like all of his sisters, ViolaÂ’s oldest brother opened his own nail salon located only Â“10 miles fromÂ” their salon. Vio la described this as Â“normalÂ”; however, I wondered if he did not become a co owner with his mother like his sisters did because staying that connected to his mother was no t Â“manly.Â” Brothers from small family businesses expressed a strong desire to not work at the family business. MonicaÂ’s brother has worked since has been 16 years old; however, he has never worked at his parentÂ’s deli. She explaine d, Â“He, he never wanted to work there. Like it is a family joke that he doesnÂ’t want to wo rk there.Â” She said that she Â“canÂ’t picture him working there at all.Â” She then explain ed that he does not do any type of work associated with the business. She noted that Â“ HeÂ’ll come in and heÂ’ll get food. And IÂ’m like, Â‘Mike, how about you learn how to write a ticket up like for your own food.
99 And you can turn it in yourself so I donÂ’t have to do it.Â’ And he goes, Â‘no, no.Â’Â” However, he has had other restaurant jobs where he was a bus boy. When I asked Monica if gender played a role regarding their decisions to work and to not work with their parents she noted that all her immediate female family members work there, but she had never thought about Â“whyÂ” that was the case. She answered Â“I mean since there are three girls in the family, and we are the only ones that work p lus my dad. I mean. ItÂ’s the same for all us. Except itÂ’s basically all girls that work a t the restaurant not my brother.Â” However, other family business daughters openly in dicated that gender played a role in determining why their brothers did not help in the same manner they did. While Renee and her sister worked in their fatherÂ’s docto r office after they graduated from college, Renee believed that her father had differe nt expectations for her younger brother. She explained that her father would never let her b rother work at the office because Â“I think he kind of wants him to kind of like go and d o something with himself.Â” She said: You know he (my dad) said to me at one point, Â‘men are supposed to make more money than women. I said, Â‘you canÂ’t say things lik e today.Â’ And heÂ’s like, Â‘I may not agree with it but it still comes down to th e fact that Todd is a man and he needs to have a real job where you and your sister might not need a serious job.Â’ The above example is consistent with the literature on family business women that indicated their contributions are often underv alued (Dumas, 1992). By not allowing his son to help at his doctor offices, ReneeÂ’s fath er devalued the contributions Renee, her sister, and her mother make to the family business. Renee even commented, Â“I donÂ’t think my dad values everything my mother does.Â” It is important to note, that as I discussed in my third chapter, most family business daughters from small family
100 businesses informally help and do not receive money for their services. This gendered distinction between paid and unpaid labor is simila r to separate sphere discourse that associates men with the professional sphere and pai d labor and women in the domestic sphere and unpaid labor. Since, menÂ’s paid labor ha s historically been valued more than womenÂ’s unpaid domestic labor which is deemed unpro ductive (Crittenden, 2001); this family business gendered division of informal and f ormal labor perpetuates patriarchal power structures. This places family business women from small family businesses at a disadvantaged position and makes their contribution s to the family business invisible. Founder Values: Passion, Gender and Organizational Norms The way gender is valued in the family business cul ture is a significant part of family business daughtersÂ’ external level tensions. The Founder plays a dominant role in the family business and their Â“valuesÂ” and Â“motivat ion are powerful cultural drivers,Â” that are passed down to succeeding generations (Den ison et al. 2004). Founder values Â“permeate the family and the businessÂ” and promote an organizational culture that emphasizes hard work (Aronoff, 2004) and the develo pment of collective trust (Hoffman et al. 2006). These values create expected norms of beha vior at the family firm, and family members may be fearful of deviating from the m (Carney, 2005). Family business daughtersÂ’ adoption of the founderÂ’s values is repr esented by the Â“passionÂ” they have for their family businesses. Passion is a positive and negative resource for family business daughters because the women may have unconsciously adopted both the founderÂ’s motivation and the founderÂ’ sexist work attitudes. As a result, family business daughters were successful in their careers with the family fi rm and participated in inflexible policies regarding motherhood.
101 In 1776 philosopher George Campbell argued that we derive our Â“spirit and energyÂ” from passion; therefore, it Â“animatesÂ” us o r moves us to action (Campbell, 2000, p. 572). He believed passion was a motivating force for individuals and in order to persuade someone, you first had to move their passi on. In contemporary times, we tend to link passion with organizational success and assume that those who have a passion for their career are highly committed and enjoy what th ey do. In fact, there are numerous self-help books that teach people to learn to love their jobs and their lives by discovering their passion (e.g., Anderson, 2004; Cassidy, 2000; Kang & Albion, 2005) Family business daughters consistently revealed th at they were Â“passionateÂ” about the family business. They equate passion with having a strong connection to the founder and working hard. Olivia noted, Â“IÂ’m succes sful because I have a passion for it. ItÂ’s not about the money. My grandfather did everyt hing from the ground up. ThatÂ’s something I always admired. That he went to work ev ery day.Â” She goes onto explain that she learned how to perform passion from her gr andfather: Â“That is where I got a lot of my traits from. Just work. DonÂ’t worry about you r problems. Make a living and deal with it when you get home. I was pretty programmed it didnÂ’t bother me to ever work. I didnÂ’t care if I worked seven days straight.Â” They are inspired by the founderÂ’s dedication and their participation at the family fi rm links them to the founder. A family business daughter said, Â“I am passionate about what I do because I can feel my dad worked so hard to build this company up.Â” Passion w as also talked about in terms of Â“motivationÂ” and Â“drive.Â” One woman commented, Â“I a m motivated and driven to make it a success. I think I get that from my grandfathe r.Â”
102 Passion is also something daughters expected other family members who worked at the business to find. One family business daught er whose brother recently started working at the family business commented that at fi rst he just Â“didnÂ’t get it.Â” However, things got better when, Â“it kicked into him that if heÂ’s going to this, youÂ’re going to have to have a passion for it.Â” Another woman remembers her father asking her about her passion, and confessed that she now asks her childr en the same thing. She said, Â“He would say, Â‘whereÂ’s your passion?Â’ And IÂ’d get real ly upset. IÂ’m like Â‘what is this?Â’ Now I understand because I find myself saying the same things to my kids. Â‘What are you passionate about?Â’ And itÂ’s true. That he was true. Â” In fact, passion was described as a necessary element of happiness and success at the f amily firm. One family business daughter advised other family business daughters Â“D onÂ’t go into it (the business) for the money. The money will be short lived. You really ne ed to have a passion for it.Â” Family business daughters are passionate because th eir participation in the family business emotionally bonds them to their families. An emerging family business research perspective views aspects of family business cultur e as intangible resources that provide family firmsÂ’ competitive advantages over non-famil y firms (Dyer, 2003). These intangible and ideological resources are referred t o as Â“familinessÂ” (Habberson &Williams, 1999), of which, I would argue, Â“passion Â” is a form. Passion: A Family Business Resource Organizational culture is an important concept for exploring ideological aspects of the family firm (Dyer, 1986, 1988; Heck, 2004). It includes the actions, practices, stories, and artifacts that characterize a particular organi zation (Eisenberg, et. al., 2007). The cultureÂ’s symbolic expressions help to create an or ganizational reality and establish
103 appropriate norms of behavior for organizational me mbers (Eisenberg, Murphy, & Andrews, 1998). The same is true for family culture (Galvin, et al., 2008), and at a family business the family culture and the business cultur e overlap (Koiranen, 2003). According to Heck (2004), Â“Family culture is not distinct fro m and likely underlies the family business cultureÂ” (p. 384). The Resource Based View (RBV) is a leading family b usiness perspective (Chrisman et al. 2005) that explores how familial goals and famili al relationships produce a unique Â“family effectÂ” that influences fi rm performance (Dyer, 2003, 2006). The RBV approach suggests that valuable, rare, and non-substitutable resources can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage and superior performance (Barney, 1991). Family firm scholarship uses this perspective to examine h ow family attributes, including family values, are intangible family business resources (H abbershon, 2006; Sirmon, et. al, 2003). Scholars have explored both the economic and non-economic goals of family business and suggest the non-economic goals of fami ly business owners differ from those in nonfamily firms (Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 2005) While the bottom line is likely to be the priority of nonfamily businesses, sustainabi lity is often the number one goal of family firms because family business owners feel a responsibility to provide a legacy for future generations of family members (Zahra et al. 2004). Habberson and Williams (1999) coined the phrase Â“familinessÂ” to describe t hese intangible resources and defined it Â“as the unique bundle of resources a particular firm has because of the systems interaction between the family, its individual memb ers, and the businessÂ” (p. 11l).
104 Research attributed familiness as having a positiv e influence on family business performance in the areas of customer relations, ope rational efficiency (Tokarcyzk et al. 2007), entrepreneurial risk taking (Zahra, 2005), a nd innovation (Craig & Moores, 2005). However, Hoffman, Hoelscher, and Sorenson (2006) ar gue the established familial norms associated with familiness can have negative conseq uences. Since family members are fearful of others discovering that they have broken a code of conduct, family norms Â“provide for social control in family businessesÂ” ( p. 138). Passion is a form of familiness because it is a product of family business cultures and family business daughters use it as a resource that inspires them to work hard. It is a lso a form of Â“social controlÂ” for family business daughters who are fearful of breaking fami ly business norms. This may prevent family business daughters from questioning sexist p olicies established by the founder. Since the founder of most family businesses are men they may inadvertently perpetuate a family and business culture that under mines and undervalues their daughters (Francis, 1999). Family business daughters directly stated that their fathers or grandfathers were sexist. One family business daugh ter commented, Â“My dad was sexist and controlling. He acted like a marine.Â” Simone h ad a difficult time working with her father who Â“had a view that was much more male.Â” Sh e explained, Â“My mom was always a stay at home mom because of my dadÂ’s generation. I mean you are a housewife. You were just at work to fill time.Â” Simone dismisses h er fatherÂ’s attitudes and values as simply generational, but his sexist attitudes may h ave permeated into the family business culture with real consequences for the women who wo rk at his company. Some family business daughters experienced discrimi nation that could be the result of a gender biased family business culture. A third generation family daughter
105 noted, Â“The men in the family move up faster than t he women. No one likes to point it out, but it is true.Â” Tonya works in the HR departm ent at her grandfatherÂ’s warehouse and is uncertain if she were his daughter if he would h ave let her work at his company. She explained, Â“I doubt if IÂ’d be a part of the busines s if I was his daughter (instead of granddaughter). He only had two sons, and he didnÂ’t have a very favorable opinion of women in the family working for him.Â” Family business daughters also reported that other female family members were undervalued. Sexist attitudes are also reflected in how founders treated their wives. Renee admitted that her father Â“never valuedÂ” her Â“momÂ’s job.Â” She explained, Â“She put in a full dayÂ’s work. And he put in a full dayÂ’s work. B ut his work was always more important because he made more money.Â” She commente d that when her father had time off Â“he expected to be undisturbed.Â” However, her m otherÂ’s time was Â“never offÂ” because Â“when she wasnÂ’t at school or taking care o f us he expected her to work with him.Â” Next, I examine the ways in which the founder Â’s gender biased values are evident in the family businessÂ’s informal work policies. Informal Gender Bias: Pro-Family Policies and AntiMommy Polices Family business daughtersÂ’ goals, resources, and pr iorities are etched in relational contradictions they experienced. Perhaps this was b est represented in how family business daughters felt they could respond at work to personal issues. Informal family business policies are very pro-family during times of family emergencies, and allowed family business daughters to adjust their work sche dules to respond to their familiesÂ’ needs. However, informal family business policies w ere also very anti-mommy, and did not allow family business daughters to adjust their schedules for their childrenÂ’s needs.
106 The family business is a factor in how family busin ess daughters choose to respond to relational tensions. Many of the women I interviewed shared stories of how they handled loss, coping, and heartbreak. The firs t thing I noticed when I walked in OliviaÂ’s office was a picture of her in a wedding d ress dancing with her grandfather. Four months before our interview the 35-year-old women m arried a man she had met who worked with her at her grandfatherÂ’s industrial shi pping company. Olivia revealed, Â“My family business has been a critical factor in my li fe. I met two husbands there. One died.Â” She then shared the experience of her first husband Â’s death. Her story is a poignant illustration of the flexibility that some family bu siness daughters have when responding to family emergencies. When OliviaÂ’s grandfather found out she was dating Peter, one of his companyÂ’s engineerÂ’s he joked, Â“Â‘one of you has to leave beca use I canÂ’t have you two getting married.Â’Â” They did get married and had a son toget her. Â“The story gets even better,Â” Olivia told me. Â“He was killed by a head on collisi on. It was ironic the person who killed him was one of our customers.Â” When Olivia shared her story, she pointed out every decision her husband made that he could have changed to avoid the accident. S he said, Â“This is how fate driven we are. My uncle has a convertible and was moving so h e wanted to use my husbandÂ’s truck. Well we have a fleet of company vehicles from A to Z in size. So they swap cars.Â” I was afraid to blink as she continued to explain the imp ortance of choice and fate: It was Sunday evening and dinner was ready. Peter s aid, Â‘Oh I forgot to get the babyÂ’s milk.Â’ I said, Â‘Oh donÂ’t go to the store. It can wait.Â’ He said, Â‘No IÂ’m going to go.Â’ I wouldnÂ’t let him take the convertible. I said, Â‘You have to take my SUV.Â’
107 He said, Â‘IÂ’m going to take your uncleÂ’s convertibl e because itÂ’s a nice night.Â’ And that was it. He got hit. He died on the scene. After her husbandÂ’s sudden death, Olivia chose not Â“to work for awhile.Â” She explained, Â“I had a baby thatÂ’s three years old. Do esnÂ’t understand where every day his daddy is. Wants to know if I get into a car if IÂ’m going to die. I didnÂ’t know what I wanted. Was I happy working? I was tired. So, I wen t to counseling a lot.Â” Olivia described her husbandÂ’s death as a Â“turning pointÂ” and believed that it was fate that she chose to work at her grandfatherÂ’s bu siness: I feel like everything happened to me the way it wa s supposed to. No other company would have tolerated me being out. They wou ld not have let me off three months, six months. I donÂ’t know when I reall y came back to workÂ…I canÂ’t even tell you because itÂ’s kind of like a blackout now. One advantage of working at a family firm for famil y business daughters is the flexibility they had to respond to family emergenci es. Olivia stood me up for our first interview because she unexpectedly took three weeks off to spend time with her grandfather who had recently been diagnosed with ca ncer. The news was devastating to her: Â“When my grandfather was diagnosed March 13th with cancer, my birthday was the 14th, his was the 15th. It was two most horrible days of our lives. YouÂ’r e told youÂ’ve got pancreatic cancer, youÂ’ve got three to six months.Â” Other family business daughters had similar experi ences. Simone shared how after her fatherÂ’s stroke she visited him every mor ning in the hospital and went to work late for months. She felt this flexibility was an a dvantage of working at a family firm. She noted, Â“ThatÂ’s where I have an advantage. I wouldnÂ’ t have liked working at some other
108 placeÂ…Everybody worked around it. IÂ’d be a little l ate to work every day and I left on time every dayÂ…YouÂ’ve got to do those obligations. I had an advantage where I could.Â” Informal pro-family policies prioritize family rela tionships and emotional connection with family members over business profit. Family bu siness daughters had the job flexibility to respond to family crisis the way the y wanted, with no threat of losing their jobs. SimoneÂ’s father was home from the hospital Â“l ess than a monthÂ” when he passed away. She described her daily visitations with him as Â“a good thingÂ” because she was there for him when he needed her. She has no regret s and if another family emergency arises she would respond similarly: Â“IÂ’ll do it. I donÂ’t care what it is.Â” While Sadie felt there were disadvantages to owning your own business, she also felt it provided her with a degree of flexibility f or accomplishing everyday errands and coping with family emergencies that other jobs woul d not. She commented, Â“I like being my own bossÂ…if I need to go to the doctor I donÂ’t h ave to ask somebodyÂ’s permission.Â” Being a business owner also enabled her to put her familyÂ’s needs before her businessÂ’s needs. She said, Â“If I have a family emergency, lik e when my husbandÂ’s dad was not well. When he was sick he visited him. ItÂ’s hard, b ut IÂ’ll manage so he can go.Â” Unlike public companies that are motivated by profit, fami ly businesses are responsive to the needs of the family (Chua et al. 1999). Informal pro-family policies prioritize fa mily relationships over the bottom line, and family busi ness daughters have no qualms about losing profit when it is what is best for the famil y. Sadie felt no remorse for deciding to close her garage to spend time with her dying fathe r-in-law. She explained: I donÂ’t regret making that decision to shut down ea rly. No matter how much money we lost itÂ’s still more important. At least w e had that choice to make. A lot
109 of people donÂ’t have that choice. Some companies ar enÂ’t that understanding. I mean maybe you couldnÂ’t have taken that time off. In the above examples, the family business prioriti zed family well being over profit (Aronoff, 2004); therefore, family business daughters were encouraged to put the needs of their families before the needs of the bus iness. This ties into an aspect of familiness that suggests one resource of family fir ms is how the founder uses their business to improve the quality of life for his or her family (Anderson et al. 2002). Since family members are employed at the family firm, som e founders create organizational cultures that enact Â“social concernsÂ” such as devel oping Â“humanisticÂ” human resource policies; including avoiding layoffs and offering f lexible schedules (Schein, 1983). The informal pro-family policies can be seen as a form of organizational praxis that challenges the assumption that Â“familyÂ” is supposed to remain separate from the realm of Â“workÂ” (Kirby et al. 2003). The flexibility these organizations provid e family business daughters during times of family crisis offer a mod el for other organizations that claim to prioritize employee well being. On the other hand, family members who were co-worke rs were not as understanding about childcare needs as they were about family eme rgencies, As a result, these mothers felt torn between giving to their families or givin g to their family businesses. In this sense, the relational tensions family business daug htersÂ’ experienced regarding motherhood reflect the separate spheres ideologies that privilege the division of domestic and business concerns similarly experienced by othe r working mothers. Although OliviaÂ’s family business was very supportive of her taking an unlimited amount of time off after her husbandÂ’s death, she had a very diffi cult time adjusting her schedule when
110 she became a parent. Work took priority over her ch ildcare responsibilities from the time she was in the hospital giving birth to her son. S he shared, Â“I woke up at one in the morning before my son was delivered, and while I wa s in the hospital bed I was doing memos to my vendors because I had the epidural in m e. So IÂ’m doing orders and I realize there is something wrong with me.Â” Her reaction to childbirth is consistent with research that indicates organizations view maternity leave a s an inconvenience rather than as an important family event (Peterson & Albrecht, 1999). Perhaps Olivia experienced this because she associates being a mother with being a less productive employee. Although she believes she has the skills to be the next comp any CEO, she also thinks she cannot do a good job at it while she has a young child. She e xplained, Â“IÂ’d be OK to be in charge, but right now, I still want to kind of be a mom. I want to leave on time. I donÂ’t want all of the added responsibilities.Â” Similar to nonfamily business working mothers, Simo ne also felt like she was less productive at work when she became a mother. She sa id that after her children were born, Â“That is definite. I was not as productive.Â” She e xplained that when her children were young she felt torn between working and spending ti me with them: When the kids came around they became more of a foc us than other things. I worked an actual eight hour shift. I used to work m ore. Did I like it? No. Because I really love it. Do I think I got everything done within that 8 hours? No. I had to do that because that was more important for my fami ly side. Interestingly, Simone adopted a separate spheres d iscourse to discuss childcare responsibilities, but did not do this in discussing her fatherÂ’s stroke. Although she worked less than an eight hour shift, she thought it was a n advantage that for over a month every
111 day she could visit him in the hospital. However, s he did not feel adjusting her work schedule to fit her childrenÂ’s schedules was an opt ion. She explained, Â“I would get up at like 4:30 in the morning to get everybody ready so I could in the car, so I could be here by 8:00. I didnÂ’t want to be late.Â” Olivia and SimoneÂ’s concerns echo those of other f amily business women who fear they cannot be a mother while a fulltime famil y business employee (Cole, 1997). Mothers are less visible in the family business tha n family business women without children (Gillis-Donovan & Moynihan-Bradt, 1990). F urthermore, family business daughters receive a Â“double messageÂ” about becoming a mother from their parents. Sometimes, daughters feel as if their parents expec t them to have children, but at the same time, get upset if their daughterÂ’s work perfo rmance declines after she has become a mother (Cole, 1997). It is disheartening to think the same family members these women work with who are so flexible for family emergencie s are so unaccommodating for parenting responsibilities. This is particularly od d considering how involved family business children are in the firm including providi ng unpaid labor. In organizations gender has consistently been a div iding force between familial and business responsibilities (Acker, 1990), and Â“a nti-mommyÂ” tensions are yet one more example. Research indicates that in family business es family members use gender as a dividing line to determine responsibilities at both work and home. Coperneur couples typically divide family and business responsibiliti es along gender lines so that wives are the primary household managers and work at the busi ness with their husbands (Marshack, 1994). With married couples who both wor k fulltime at a family firm the women is most often responsible for the household c hores, and with married couples in
112 which both partners work fulltime at nonfamily firm s, husbands are more likely to help with chores (Marshack, 1998). Perhaps family businesses are less flexible with mo thering than with family emergencies because motherhood is a feminine marker for family business daughters. TretheweyÂ’s (1999) research on womenÂ’s bodies and o rganizational cultures reveals that women try to control the appearance of their bodies so that they fit the patriarchal ideals associated with a professional body. A professional body is a fit body and women must work at hiding feminine excesses coupled with sexua lity, fertility, and emotionality that Â“points to the female body's othernessÂ” (p. 423). S ince the Â“female body has a tendency to overflow,Â” women work at hiding the Â“excessesÂ” a ssociated with fertility such as menstruation, lactation or pregnancy (Trethewey, 20 00). I argue, in the context of the family business, motherhood becomes a gendered exce ss women cannot control. Since family business daughtersÂ’ coworkers are their chil drenÂ’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles, they constantly wear the mark of motherhood (Coles, 1997). Like other working mothers, family business daughters do not have the option to make their mothering status invisible during work place interaction. According to Jorgens on (2000), women engineers who perceived their industry to be intolerant of workin g mothers, avoided using language that would draw attention to their status as a mother. F or example, when a female engineer was unable to work at a particular time because she had to pick her child up from daycare she told her colleagues that she had to leave for Â“ business.Â” While the family business daughters I interviewed w ere unable to hide the excess of motherhood from family members, they consciously tried to control other female markers such as their emotions. All but one of the career family business daughters I
113 interviewed believed that their coworkers perceived females as Â“too emotional.Â” One family business daughter noted that the male family members she worked with thought she was unable to make decisions because she was to o emotionally attached to the issues. She said, Â“My brother, my two uncles, my grandfathe r they say, oh, youÂ’re female. YouÂ’re more sensitive to this issue.Â” Another famil y business daughter revealed that she worked hard at not being too emotional in her discu ssions with male coworkers. She said, Â“He is very analytical, you know just give me the f acts. IÂ’m always like, la-de-la-de-da, emotion gets in there and all that other stuff, and you know he just wants the facts.Â” As a result, they avoided showing their emotions at work One woman said, Â“You have to stay in control of your emotions. ThatÂ’s one thing for a female.Â” Another family business daughter claims her grandfather taught her to behav e Â“professionallyÂ”: Â“Women are too emotional. And IÂ’m too much like a man from my gran dfather, learning from him. Whatever happened at home I donÂ’t think about it.Â” According to Bordo (1995) whenever gender boundarie s become blurred, people reinforce patriarchal gendered lines by adopting ex treme gendered positions. In the case of family businesses, it appears that the more thre atening the presence of gender was to the founderÂ’s culture, the less accommodating the b usiness was to mothers. The most obvious example of this is Candace, who is taking a break from formally working at her family firm until her children old enough to go to college. The third generation family business daughter explained that since she has Â“bee n marriedÂ” and had Â“kidsÂ” she Â“just kind of stays connected butÂ” sheÂ’s Â“not working the re.Â” Candace stays connected by attending important meetings and putting together t he monthly company news letter. I believed Candace when she said, Â“I decided to stay home because that is what I always
114 wanted to do.Â” She is grateful for the family busin ess because without it she might not be in an economic position to stay home: Â“I just thank God that my situation was stable enough that I could do that thanks to my dad and gr andfather.Â” However, I also believed Candace when she seemed torn between wanting to wor k at the company or stay home fulltime with her children. She said, Â“Some days I wish I was back in the office. ItÂ’s a lot of work at home. But you wish you were home when yo u are having problems there.Â” Perhaps CandaceÂ’s decision to be a stay at home mot her was influenced by family business norms. She said that her father Â“wants me to be at home with my family and my children so heÂ’s just grateful that I can be.Â” She feels Â“guiltyÂ” about not formally participating at the business, but has described he r decision to stay home as her Â“role.Â” She is in a situation where working at the business as a mother would be breaking a family business norm. She said, Â“Knowing that I hav e the support of my dad and my brothers makes it easier because I feel bad leaving them with everything to do when IÂ’m capable of helping. They just know IÂ’m at home. The ir wives are at home so. ItÂ’s just my role.Â” While Candace is the only family business da ughter I interviewed who decided to take a break from her job, she still experienced si milar relational tensions associated with anti-mommy policies as other mothers. She also feel s torn between giving to the business or giving to her children. Another area of critique with inflexible family bus iness policies is to consider whose needs are being taken care of, and if anyone is being put in a compromising situation. Sadie worked with her father at his gara ge after she divorced her first husband. She liked the work, but as a single mother, found i t difficult to schedule needed appointments for her children. Her boss, who was th e grandfather of her children,
115 expected her to work a very rigid schedule. She exp lained that she could not leave the shop without him contacting her several times: Â“It was his way of controlling me, make me feel guilty when I wasnÂ’t there. He would call m e, Â‘when are you coming back? And how long is this going to take?Â’Â” She resented her father and felt stressed out over trying to Â“juggleÂ” work and mothering. She explained she Â“ always felt guilty leaving the shop or the office to go take care of my kids.Â” Sadie fe lt Â“that was pretty crappy ofÂ” her father Â“to try to makeÂ” her Â“feel guilty for being involve d inÂ” her Â“kidsÂ’ lives.Â” Eventually, Sadie married Sammy and bought the garage from her father. Soon after she bought it, her father had a heart attack and wanted Sadie to b e his primary caretaker. Ironically, the one person who made Sadie feel guilty for leaving w ork to take care of her children wanted Sadie to prioritize his caretaking needs ove r her new business. She did take care of him, but regretted her decision. She noted: During the time that my dad was ill I wasnÂ’t paying attention to my business and I should have been. I would probably do that differen t. That caused a hit to my business you know, finically and structurallyÂ…At th at time he required more of my time and more of my attention. He took a lot of what I should have used to develop the business. I still had children at home at that point to so it was even worse. But yeah, thereÂ’s always things youÂ’ll chang e, but hindsightÂ’s 20/20. SadieÂ’s situation is notable because of the way tha t her father used her as both a personal and a business resource at the expense of her own familial and business well being. Future research is needed regarding how gend er neutral informal pro-family polices really are, or if they result in family bus iness women prioritizing the male patriarchÂ’s needs over her own. While Sadie was th e only women I interviewed who
116 claimed she regretted giving to the founder over gi ving to her business, other family business daughters may have similar stories to shar e. Ironically, these organizations provide women with flexible informal options for re sponding to family emergencies, yet also perpetuate patriarchal assumptions by restrict ing their work-family options with regard to routine family commitments. Handling the Anti-Mommy Tension: Balance and Compro mise Family business daughters who are mothers addressed tensions associated with giving to their family or giving to their business with the strategy of balance. From a relational dialectical perspective, balance uses co mpromise to respond to all polarities of a contradiction (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). All of the mothers I interviewed tried to give to both their businesses and to their children Even Candace, the stay at home mother, gave to their family business by attending important business meetings and being in charge of the company monthly news letter. Family business daughters indirectly attributed the difficult time they had balancing work and family to their passion for the company and their identification with the founderÂ’s culture. They felt pressured to put i n extra hours and stay until the job was finished, and this interfered with their parenting. Olivia stated, Â“My grandfather taught me to stay until the job was finished. He was alway s the last person out of hereÂ…Balance. My son is only going to be a child fo r so long.Â” Other family business daughters expressed how having children interfered with their ability to work. Simone said, Â“I never separated work and family. My dad ca lled it our family farm. You work until everything is done. Having kids made things d ifferent.Â” Sadie commented, Â“My dad
117 always owned his businesses and he worked all the t ime. Your business is only as successful as what you put into it. When you have l ittle kids its hard to give it your all.Â” Family business daughters learn from the founder th at Â“face timeÂ” is equated with being a good worker. The family business daughters I interviewed who made the family business a career worked approximately 60 hours fiv e to six days a week. On average, family business daughters work approximately 70 hou rs a week (Cadieux et al. 2002), and working these long hours often discouraged them from becoming a parent (Salganicoff, 1990). The pressure to put in long ho urs at the office is not restricted to the family firm. Organizations in general have been cri tiqued for their inflexible polices associated with valuing face time over efficiency ( Buzzanell & Liu, 2005). However, in the context of the family business not putting in e nough hours is equivalent to breaking a cultural norm established by the founder. Olivia st ated, Â“I stopped feeling guilty and thinking that I had to be the last person out of he re. That was something my grandfather always taught me, be the last person out.Â” SimoneÂ’s father had higher expectations for her than other employees. She noted, Â“My dad was so alw ays so toughÂ…They are tougher on you than they are on anybody. I knew he wanted me t o stay until the job was done.Â” Furthermore, working long hours is associated with helping the family. One woman said, Â“You feel guilty when you go to a restr icted schedule. You feel like because you are family you should be here all the time to h elp.Â” Another mother noted, Â“You donÂ’t want to feel like you are not staying to help the family, but I also told my son IÂ’d be home by, you know 5:15. For him, thatÂ’s very import ant.Â” Finally, a family business daughter commented, Â“I feel bad leaving them with e verything to do when IÂ’m capable of helping.Â” The notion that face time at the business is equated with helping the family,
118 places family business daughters with children in t he difficult position of having to choose between giving their time to their extended families or to their immediate families. Since the informal contributions of famil y business women are often deemed invisible in the family business (Rowe & Hong, 2000 ) they may feel more valued by working longer because that is a visible business c ontribution. Family business daughters were also pressured from nonfamily employees to work long hours. Family business children often fel t as if they had to prove to nonfamily members that they were not handed their positions ( Vera & Dean, 2005). One family business daughter said, Â“You have to earn respect a nd itÂ’s a little bit tougher because they figure you were given everythingÂ”. A third generati on family business daughter said, Â“Even if it was given to you in the beginning you k now you have to earn that job.Â” Some family business daughters indicated that nonfamily business members were highly critical of their Â“mistakes,Â” and they felt as if their acti ons were scrutinized more closely than other employees. In this sense, their actions were being controlled by the surveillance of nonfamily members. In organizations, surveillance is Â“constant supervi sionÂ” (Eisenberg, et al., 2007). This type of power is not imposed from a sovereign source or from bureaucratic structures; rather it exists in discourse which Â“ar ticulates meanings, values, and modes of beingÂ” (Trethewey, 2000, p. 111). Businesses have u sed technology as a form of surveillance to keep track of employees actions (e. g., Adler & Tompkins, 1997), and team based groups have shown signs of surveillance by monitoring one anotherÂ’s behaviors (e.g., Barker & Tompkins, 1994). Some of the women I interviewed reported that employees at the family firm watch them to mak e certain their participation is
119 consistent with the values and work ethic establish ed by the founder. These family business daughters perceived that they were constan tly supervised by their coworkers. One daughter said, Â“If you made a mistake it was ma de known to everybodyÂ….youÂ’re under a microscopeÂ… I mean not a minute late. You c anÂ’t leave a minute early. You have to be right because people notice and theyÂ’re going to say something.Â” Considering they felt pressured from both family me mbers and nonfamily members to work long hours, it is no coincidence th at the mothers I interviewed stopped giving as much of their time to the family firm whe n they no longer felt as if they had to prove themselves to others. Olivia shared, Â“It made it easier to stop doing that, stop working really late when I no longer had anything t o prove.Â” Simone commented, Â“At first things were so hard because I was judged so h ard. I had to prove myself. You know, I donÂ’t feel that anymore.Â” Sadie noted, Â“At first I felt that I had something to show. IÂ’m glad I still donÂ’t.Â” Family business daughters addressed the tensions be tween giving to their family and giving to their business with the strategy of b alance. From a relational dialectical perspective, balance uses compromise to respond to all polarities of a contradiction (Baxter & Montgomery, 2000). Several of the family business daughters referred to this as Â“a juggling act.Â” Furthermore, sacrifice and com promise was involved because the women never felt satisfied with their contributions to both areas. Olivia claimed that she prioritized work until she made a commitment to Â“ba lanceÂ” her life. She explained, Â“I started to make a balance when I made the commitmen t.Â” She made the commitment to balance her life after her first husbandÂ’s sudden d eath. She regrets that she was at a charity event for the family firm the weekend that he was killed. She said, Â“ThatÂ’s
120 something that always stands in my mind that I was there on Saturday versus being with my family.Â” She realized, she was not Â“going to sac rifice not being home at night.Â” Although she decided to leave work no later than 6: 00 at night, she took business calls at home until her son voiced his opinion: Â“My son told me, Â‘Mommy IÂ’m so sick. Every time I come home the phone is ringing. Everyb ody wants to talk to my mommy. Well I want to talk to my mommy. I havenÂ’t seen my mommy all day. And IÂ’m tired of you running the business.Â’Â” Since her sonÂ’s discuss ion with her she makes a sales manager take the calls and she does not Â“answer her phone after a certain time.Â” She feels Â“more in controlÂ” and as if has created more of a r outine for her son. However, the more time Olivia spends with her child, the greater her work demands appear to be. She explained, Â“I was trying to do things as I could wi th my son, but then the demands here (at work) become greaterÂ…So, IÂ’m rationalizing. ItÂ’ s a sacrifice both ways.Â” Simone also discussed the professional and persona l sacrifices that are associated with balancing these tensions. Like Olivia, comprom ise is involved because she never felt as if she fully gave to both areas. Once her childr en were born she Â“sacrificedÂ” the amount of Â“focusÂ” and Â“timeÂ” she could give to her job yet she also believed that she sacrificed for her family. She tried to find a Â“bal anceÂ” by doing Â“OKÂ” in each area. She explained Â“there are some sacrifices for the kids,Â” such as not being able to get Â“involved reallyÂ” with her childrenÂ’s activities or school ev ents. She said, Â“You sacrifice a little on one side and you sacrifice a little on other side a nd you try to kind find a balance until youÂ’re doing OK and you feel like youÂ’re doing OK i n both.Â” Simone also indicated that you Â“neverÂ” really Â“feelÂ” as if things are Â“balance d.Â”
121 As illustrated from the quotes above, family busine ss daughters draw a sharp distinction between work and family responsibilitie s regarding motherhood. In their attempts to balance these tensions, they felt as if they had to make sacrifices with both their family and work. The Â“anti-mommyÂ” organizatio nal culture as experienced by family business daughters is indicative of patriarc hal assumptions embodied in the ideology of separate spheres. Communication scholar s such as Kirby et al., (2003) have argued that the taken-for-granted notion of work an d home as separate domains bounded in space and time constrains individuals to separat e their work and personal interests. Thus, it indirectly restricts Â“work-family choicesÂ” and limits potential options for handling work and family tensions (Kirby et al., 2003, p. 9). The tensions experienced by family business daughters who are mothers reflect l arger social tensions that arise from separate spheres discourse. Passion, inherited from the founderÂ’s culture, is b oth positive and negative for family business daughters. They have inherited a ph enomenal work ethic that makes them successful business women yet they have also i nherited the legacy of the founderÂ’s sexist attitudes toward motherhood and work. These sexist attitudes live in the organizational culture, and family business mothers adopt a separate spheres discourse in which they must choose between their work and their family. Family business daughters address the relational tensions associated with ant i-mommy policies through the strategy of balancing. However, this places family business daughters in a position where they feel as if they have to sacrifice in both the areas of work and family. Passion entails family business daughters having a strong identification with the founder and his values. Those who do not adopt thes e values feel as if they are a bad
122 worker and a bad family member. As a result, family business mothers adopt antimommy polices that are against their best interests In this sense, passion operates as a form of concertive control. Â“Workers achieve concer tive control by reaching a negotiated consensus on how to shape their behavior according to a core set of vales, such as the values found in a corporate vision statementÂ” (Bark er, 1993, p. 411 as cited in Eisenberg, Goodall and Trethewey, 2007, p. 177). This type of control is based upon identification with the organization (Deetz, 1995) because members who identify with it and accept the consequences of Â“organizational decision premisesÂ” make good choices (Trethewey, 2000). In the context of the family business, this form of control perpetuates the gendered assumptions of separate spheres ideologies and make s family business women feel as if they must sacrifice aspects of both their work and home. In my previous chapter, family business daughters reframed relational tensions and increased their perceived ways of responding to them. Instead of viewing the business as something they needed to take care of, they treated the business as resource that would take care of them. Perhaps, as a response to the relational tensions experienced wit h anti-mommy polices family business daughters can again reframe the family business as personal resource. In doing so, they would increase the multivocality of the tension and their perceived possible ways of responding to it.
123 Chapter Five: Theoretical Implications and Conclusi on Â“A family business is a very difficult thing to und ertake and your relationships have to be different. You have to either have a ver y strong and loving relationship or you have to be willing to have that distance,Â” Sadie to ld me as she adjusted the ice she had on her broken leg that was propped up on pillow. It lo oked as if the swelling was going down. When I first arrived for our interview her li ttle toes were so swollen they looked like Vienna sausages crammed in a can. Now, they ju st looked swollen. Â“I canÂ’t seem to make the swelling go away,Â” she said. I heard panti ng from their black lab Stormy who was sitting on a pillow under the desk. Â“She comes to work with me every day,Â” Sadie said and laughed, Â“My customers come to see the dog more than me.Â” I felt for Sadie because no matter how much effort she put into her business things just did not seem to work. Sadie and her husband Sa mmy were the only employees at her garage, and the back to back family emergencies the y dealt with took a toll on their relationship. During the course of my interviews Sa mmy lost his father, Sadie broke her ankle, Stormy passed away, and business dramaticall y declined. SadieÂ’s quote that I used to introduce this chapter with exemplifies the emot ional connection/separation contradiction that the family business daughters I interviewed experience. As explored in chapter three, Sadie believed dealing with these in cidents as a couple brought her and Sammy closer, while at the same time it emotionally distanced them. About a year and a
124 half after my last interview with her she ended up selling her business and separating from her husband. Sadie canÂ’t seem to make the swel ling go away. People actively make decisions about how they respo nd to relational tensions, and their decisions frame how they understand their sit uations. Baxter and Montgomery (1996) note that Â“people are at once actors and obj ects of their own actionsÂ” (p. 13); suggesting our response to contradiction builds our social realties. The way family business daughters framed their reality determined their perceived available options for handling work and family tensions (Kirby et al., 2003). Family business daughters who integrated their personal goals and family business goals had different options available to respond to tensions than the daughters who separ ated goals. This chapter addresses various aspects of respondin g to relational tensions and begins by investigating the relationship between re lational dialectics and BurkeÂ’s concept of consubstantiality. Next, I examine rationality/e motionality as a primary tension that family business daughters experienced. Then, I illu strate how family business daughtersÂ’ experiences about motherhood interweave with other women. Finally, I share my own motherhood story and end with the lessons I learned Theoretical Underpinnings: Unity and Consubstantial ity In relational dialectics, unity draws attention to the both/and characteristic of tensions suggesting that we simultaneously experien ce both polarities of a contradiction. This differs from perspectives that recognize diale ctical tensions as the mere Â“copresenceÂ” of opposition (Baxter, 2004b). In the con text of the family business, this was represented in the complexities associated with how family business daughters were both connected and separated from the family business. T he both/and approach to
125 contradiction is similar to rhetorician Kenneth Bur keÂ’s (1969) concept of consubstantiality. BurkeÂ’s work explored how we use symbols to co create meaning through our similarities and differences. He define s consubstantiality as, Â“A is not identical with his colleague, B. But insofar as the ir interests are joined, A is identified with B (Burke, 1969, p. 20). Consubstantiality can contribute to how we explore the unity characteristic of the connection/separation contrad iction. Identification is an essential component of consubs tantiality. According to Burke, identification occurs when we share similar substan ces with others such as: experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and values (Borcher, 2002; Burk e, 1969). For family business daughters, identification is created in the sharing of their unique family business culture and is one reason why they feel connected to the fa mily business. The properties of identification are Â“ambiguous,Â” and at times we are consubstantial. Burke (1969) explained that our identification with another can make us Â“Â‘substantially oneÂ’ with that person,Â” while at the same time we remain Â“unique a nd individual.Â” As a result, we can be Â“both joined and separate, at once a distinct su bstance and consubstantial with anotherÂ” (Burke, 1969, p. 21). Family business daug hters strongly identified with the family business; therefore, were Â“substantially one Â” with it, or connected with it. At the same time they realized they were Â“unique and indiv idual,Â” or separate from it. In my dissertation consubstantiality was best repre sented by the family business daughters who identified with their fatherÂ’s proble ms, while recognized his problems were not their own problems. In chapter three I exp lored how ReneeÂ’s father was an Â“intenseÂ” person, and his intensity has always Â“car ried through in the houseÂ” and at his office. Renee learned to stay emotionally connected to her father while distancing herself
126 from his intensity. The following comment exemplif ies the way in which she identifies with her father, yet recognizes her own individuali ty: Â“My dad, at this point heÂ’s not changing. IÂ’ve just kind of started accepting him f or who he is. IÂ’m not going to change.Â” Identification played an enormous role in the conne ction/separation dialectic. Some family business daughters had such strong feel ings toward their business they described it as being Â“alive.Â” Simone Â“mergedÂ” fami ly and work because her father always considered the business as a part of their f amily. She said, Â“Like in a storm I worry about my family but I worry about workÂ…ItÂ’s i ts own beingÂ….The business is part of the family.Â” Tonya also related to the family bu siness as a person: Â“To me the business isnÂ’t just a business, itÂ’s kind of lived.Â” Joy cou ld feel the presence of the business permanently with her: Â“Its just kind of part of you r homeÂ…It doesnÂ’t ever leave.Â” Under the framework of consubstantiality difference s are not framed as conflicting, rather similarity and difference funct ion holistically. This complements relational dialecticsÂ’ both/and characteristic that provides Â“an alternative vocabularyÂ” for Â“sense-making of differencesÂ” (Baxter, 2004b, p. 13 ). My analysis was heavily influenced by consubstantiality. I believe the fami ly business daughters who used recalibration to respond to relational tensions wer e consubstantial with the family business because they identified with it, yet felt unique from it. As a result, they benefited from integrating their personal goals with the fami ly business. For example, in chapter three the family business daughters who reframed th e family business as a personal resource were able to contribute to the family, whi le at the same time had the flexibility they needed for their demanding school schedules. T hese women were able to simultaneously give to themselves, their family bus iness, and their family. Their
127 examples can be contrasted with the women who respo nded to relational tensions through segmentation. These women saw their goals as separa te from the family business; therefore, had to pick between giving to their fami lies or giving to themselves. A connection between consubstantiality and relation al dialectics is aesthetic love. According to Baxter (2004a) relational parties expe rience aesthetic love when they Â“respond to one another as whole beings, not fragme nts of beingÂ” (Baxter, 2004b, p. 12). This happens infrequently in every day life because we typically only acknowledge partial aspects of people, such as treating a serve r only as a server (Baxter, 2004a). Since consubstantiality holistically illuminates differen ces and similarities between parties, exploring identification offers a framework to view family business daughters as Â“whole beings.Â” The anti-mommy policies explored in chapte r four Â“fragmentÂ” family business daughters because they treat mothers and employees as separate; therefore, the women felt torn between giving to their children and to t he businesses. However, daughters identified themselves as both an employee and a family member with informal policies that were pro-family family. Caring for family members was integrated into their jobs; therefore, they were tr eated as a Â“whole being.Â” The relational tensions family business daughters experienced rega rding motherhood reflect the separate spheres ideologies that privilege the division of d omestic and business concerns. Ironically, many of the tensions that family busine ss daughters experienced stem from rationality/emotionality discourses inherent in the separate sphere metaphor. Rationality/Emotionality as a Primary Tension The underlying assumption of bureaucratic rationali ty is that the organization is grounded exclusively in rules and rationality; rati onality is construed as the opposite of
128 emotionality (Putnam & Mumby, 2000). Putnam and Mum by (1993) suggest, Â“Rationality is typically seen as objective, orderl y and mental while emotionality reflects the subjective, chaotic, and bodily drivesÂ” (p. 40) Furthermore, Â“bureaucratic rationality also constructs a particular gender relationship, o ne that favors patriarchal forms and produces organizational power along gender linesÂ” ( Putnam and Mumby, 1993 p. 41). One characteristic of rationality is that in organi zations emotion is considered feminine and a negative quality, and reason is considered ma sculine and a positive quality (Putnam & Mumby, 2000). In the context of the family busine ss, this tension is complex because emotional connection and business participation are clearly intertwined. Many of the key tensions that family business daugh ters experienced appear to be a secondary theme of tensions associated with the m ore central theme of rationality/emotionality. Primary contradictions ar e centrally located dialectical tensions; while secondary contradictions are their sub themes and are marginally located (Baxter & Montgomery, 1997). In my research, rationality/emot ionality was a primary contradiction while secondary themes were (a) expectations about job positions and (b) family business daughtersÂ’ gendered communication styles and perfor mances. Many of the women I interviewed were put into Â“chao ticÂ” work situations, the opposite of bureaucratic rationality. This is illus trated in chapter three, by the career family business daughters who experienced a tension between working a job that needed to get done at the business versus building a fulfi lling career for themselves. It is common for family business daughters to hold positions the y are not qualified to do just because their family needs someone to fill them (Dumas, 199 2). Olivia gave up a successful career in property development to work at her grand fatherÂ’s industrial shipping
129 warehouse and Â“went from knowing what I was doing a nd understood to a job I didnÂ’t understand.Â” Simone had a similar experience, Â“I st arted out in the HR because they had no department so they put me in thereÂ…I had no idea .Â” The demands associated with their positions were re cognized as a strength and a weakness. One family business daughter said, Â“ItÂ’s always different. ItÂ’s never boring. ItÂ’s really exciting.Â” Another family business daug hter commented, Â“Challenges mean that something that needs fixed is getting fixed. I f things are too easy, mistakes are getting overlooked.Â” Over time, these remarkable wo men transformed their business positions to desirable careers while at the same ti me achieving increased business profits. They benefited from integrating their personal goal s with family business goals. Another secondary tension of rationality/emotionali ty were contradictions associated with family business daughtersÂ’ gendered communication styles and performances explored in chapter four. The family b usiness daughters who did not make the business their careers, did not seem to experie nce this tension as much as those women whose careers were centered in the business. However, career family business daughters were aware of how their gender should be performed. Olivia perceived that others in the family business expected her to be a Â“tough little bitch,Â” so she would be respected in her industry. However, other family bu siness daughters felt as if they had to perform the role of the Â“softenerÂ” to make situatio ns more Â“comfortable.Â” Although certain feminine qualities were perceived favorably by some women, in my analysis I address how all of the career business women felt a s if at times they had to control their emotional displays. One woman said, Â“You have to st ay in control of your emotions. ThatÂ’s one thing for a female.Â”
130 Some of the career family business daughters seemed to implicitly adopt a bureaucratic discourse that devalues emotion while other times they framed their feminine qualities as an organizational resource. F or example, a family business daughter described her own feminine qualities as a weakness: Â“IÂ’m extremely emotional in natureÂ… if IÂ’m upset about somethingÂ…IÂ’m not sure, maybe I just didnÂ’t handle that correctly. IÂ’ll always ask him (her husband) to see how he handled it.Â” However, later in the interview the same women commented on how her e motion is intuitive and that her rational husband lacks this. She said, Â“I think heÂ’ s (her husband) too easy about stuff. IÂ’ll start getting upset, and that starts him. He starts seeing that side where he would have maybe backed off. And itÂ’s not a good thing. Someti mes youÂ’ve got to be aggressive.Â” Other times, the family business daughters would pu t down the feminine qualities of their female coworkers: Â“I prefer dealing with a ll the men. Which is kind of discriminatory in itself, but, menÂ… come to work they leave their problems at home. Women are too emotional.Â” However, this statement s harply contrasts with a statement she made later in her interview where she gave an e xample of her male coworkers bringing their problems to work. She said, "Because women are more nurturing than guys all of the guys here gravitate to me to deal with t heir issues. From their family problems they want to talk to me, to this problem. And IÂ’m l ike. IÂ’m drained. Mentally drained from everybodyÂ’s issues.Â” In other instances, she c learly views her gender as a strength: Â“guys want to sugarcoat thingsÂ… but IÂ’m trying to tell you, from a femaleÂ’s perspec tive this is what is going on hereÂ… This is the reality of itÂ” Relational dialectics offers a framework that enabl es me to see these social actions from a holistic perspective. When examining the secondary themes of
131 rationality/emotionality, it is the both/and aspect of contradiction that helped me to understand that family business daughters treat the ir gender as one of their greatest strengths and one of their greatest weaknesses. The relational tensions family business daughters experienced are not only grounded in the assumed contradiction between rationality and emotionality, but they also reflect the separate sphere ideologies that emphasize the division of domestic from business co ncerns. The Common Threads of Motherhood Sharing my research about family business mothers w ith other women is like extending an invitation to hear their stories. On a recent job interview, after my research presentation one of the female faculty members said Â“I completely understand those women.Â” She then shared the story of how she did no t see her mother the night she died. She sounded a little choked up as she explained tha t for over a month her family drove 4 hours every Friday to spend the weekend with her mo ther who was very ill. These trips were very demanding because she had two small child ren, and it was her first year as a new faculty member at the University I was intervie wing at. During the middle of the week, she received a phone call late at night letti ng her know that she should say her goodbyes. Her mother didnÂ’t have much time. She was torn. Could her goodbyes wait just a few days? It was her first year. Would it ru in her reputation if she just left? Was she even allowed to leave? Organizations are a part of the relational tensions we all experience. I donÂ’t think it is a coincidence that so many family business da ughters I interviewed shared stories of how they handled loss, coping, and heartbreak. Wome n in general can identify with the tensions family business daughters experienced beca use they mirror separate spheres
132 discourse that family should remain separate from w ork (Kirby et al., 2003). My story interweaves with the women I interviewed. During th e course of working on my dissertation I unexpectedly got pregnant and became a mother. Working at home with an infant was a difficult expe rience. I would lock myself in my bedroom while my husband and new baby stayed in the living room. I could hear my baby crying for me while I wrote. Although I had on ly been a mom for a few months, I identified so much with the family business daughte rsÂ’ challenges associated with balancing motherhood and their careers. I end my di ssertation without offering suggestions or solutions; rather, I extend an invit ation to others to share their stories and experiences. My personal reflections about being a new mom are part of the analysis notes I wrote. Next, I share a memo I wrote after r eading CandaceÂ’s interview. Candace took a break from working at her family business to become a stay at home mother. When I interviewed Candace I was six months pregnan t with my first child and I couldnÂ’t relate to her. After being a mother for three month s I saw her as a new person. Sharing My Story When she smiles at me I know I am doing the right t hing. I wake up each morning with doubt. Doubt that I am supposed to be doing so mething else with my job, my new baby, and my marriage. We are surrounded by great p retenders. Those who think they have the best advice to give. Those who tell you Â“D onÂ’t bundle your baby too tightly.Â” Those that say, Â“You donÂ’t have enough layers on yo ur baby.Â” I hated every pretender that told me to get my dissertation done before she was born. Â“You wonÂ’t have any time to finish it after she is here,Â” they said. They ma de me feel as if after my baby was born, I wouldnÂ’t be the same person capable of doing the sa me things I did before.
133 I remember holding her in my arms when she was six days old. Nursing was an overwhelming experience. I didnÂ’t have time to do a nything elseÂ—not even shower. In a few weeks I was supposed to go to a national confer ence, start teaching, work on my dissertation, and send out job application packets. It was too much. The nurses from the hospital wanted me to keep track of everything. The y gave me a chart so I could count every time she pooped and peed. They gave me a char t so I could time how long she nursed off each of breast. According the charts, sh e wasnÂ’t pooping enough!! My only goal for the day was to nurse my new baby, and I wa snÂ’t doing that right. While I held my tiny daughter in my arms, I began s obbing. I was so scared I would never be able to take care of her. How could I? I felt like I couldnÂ’t even feed her. I cried for being unproductive. I cried for being w eak. I cried for being a bad mom. My little baby looked at my face and her lower lip sta rted to tremble. She began crying just as hard and as loud as I was. When she cried with me I realized how much of her life is determined by my mood. Not what I do in the world, but rather how I feel about the world. I wanted her to feel calm and excited about everything new she would experience. I understood that I would have to do the same. I wa s calm and excited about the world. I would do this as AnnaÂ’s mom, and I would share the world with my Anna. For a couple of minutes, the world did seem new. My story interweaves with the stories of the family business daughters I interviewed. I learned from them that even at famil y businesses external tensions linked with separate spheres discourse can make women feel as if they cannot be productive at work and be a good mother at the same time. These w omen taught me that I donÂ’t necessarily have to choose between accomplishing or ganizational goals and
134 accomplishing my personal goals. Some of the family business daughters I interviewed responded to the connection/separation contradictio n by reframing the family business as personal resource. They benefited from integrating their personal goals with the family business goals. Their work at the family business c ontributed to the family, while it enabled them to accomplish their own goals. These w omen were able to give to themselves, their families, and also the business. The lesson this new mom learned was to always view the organization as my personal resource, as opposed to viewing myself as a resource for the organization. I view this is as a subtle form of resistance for women. T he way we frame organizations determines our perceived available options for hand ling work and family tensions (Kirby et al., 2003). Reframing the organization as a personal re source expands the imagined options we have for responding to work life tension s. It isnÂ’t necessarily what I do in the world, but rather how I feel about the world. On the other hand, there are several things that we can learn from how family business daughters handle tensions. The women had m ore perceived choices for handling their tensions when there was an integration of wor k and family goals as opposed to when work and family were kept separate. When profe ssional and personal goals were separated family business daughters were limited to either picking one side of a tension over the other, or to compromising in each sphere. Gender is a dividing line for work and family spheres, and patriarchal forms of power are produced Â“along gender linesÂ” (Putnman & Mumby, 1993, p. 41). This was most overt ly seen with pro-family policies and anti-mommy policies. I found it peculiar that a ll of the career family business
135 daughters were partial owners in their company; how ever, not one of the mothers questioned anti-mommy policies. As illustrated with family businesses, the integrat ion of work and family can be positive; however, at the same time it can be negat ive. In the context of the family business, family should be prioritized in the organ ization before the organization is imposed on the family. Pro-family policies are an e xample of how prioritizing the family in the organization can foster a positive working e nvironment. In this example, the distribution of power is more equitable than when w ork is imposed on the family (such as issues of invisibility associated with informally h elping from home). However, in order for family businesses to subvert patriarchal power structures, organizational displays of family must be femininely marked (such as with fami ly business mothers). Furthermore, while I do advocate an integration of family into the organization, I am not suggesting an absolute incorporation of the two. Rather, I view this integration as being consubstantial, in that individuals identify with the organization and its goals, while at the same time see themselves and their goals as unique. Even when the family has been integrated into the family business femininity has not. This is consistent with research on the visibility of family business women, and in my analysis with anti-mommy policies. It is imperative that feminine markers such as pregnan cy and/or motherhood be integrated into the organization (Trethewey, 1999). The family business should treat its members as Â“whole beingsÂ” by merging work and family. I argue the integration of family and work can create an equitable work environment if (a) fam ily is integrated into work before work is imposed on the family, (b) if feminine mark ers are integrated into the workplace, and (c) if this integration is framed as consubstan tial.
136 Since 60% of Americans are employed by family firms family firms greatly influence the quality of life for the majority of e mployed Americans (Perman, 2006). Businesses should by create policies that enable pa rents to simultaneously be a good parent and a good worker (Francis, 1999). However, to successfully accomplish this, family businesses must first become aware of uncons cious Â“biasesÂ” toward women that limit their abilities to fully contribute (Dumas, 1 989). The policies that influence family business daughters will likely influence other fema le employees who work at their firm. Family firms have the potential to serve as models for other organizations regarding informal and formal work life policies that treat e mployees as Â“whole beingsÂ” as opposed to Â“fragmented beings.Â”
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160 Appendix A Interview Script Interview Session One Ice Breakers 1. How long have you been working at the company? 2. What is your job title? 3. Describe your job? 4. What other family members work in the company? 5. How closely do you work with them? Family and Company History 6. How long has the company been in your family? 7. Tell me the story of how your father b ecame affiliated with this company? 8. What role does your father play at the company now (if any)? 9. Does your family currently own the company (if not who)? 10. Who is currently in charge at the company? 11. How did things change for you and your family after your father obtained ownership of the company? 12. Did your parents groom any family members to work at the family business? If so who was groomed and describe why you feel they were groomed? 13. What will happen to your family and company when you retire? Will any family members work there? Will you still participate there? 14. Tell me what it was like for you when you fi rst started working with your father. Job Position 15. Tell me the story of how you obtained your job position. 16. Describe your training (informal or form al) before you started working at this company? Did it prepare you for this job?
161 17. Were you employed before you started working at the company? Has your employment at this company been continuous, or did you leave for a while and come back? 18. Describe the factors or sources you belie ve have been supportive of you obtaining this position. 19. Describe discouragement or barriers you face or faced. 20. What specific advice would you give to a woman in a similar position as you? 21. Would you rather be doing something else? 22. Describe difficulties you have in this position? Provide an example of one. Work-Life Issues 23. What are the perceived sacrifices you made or make (in the family and with the company)? 24. What are your responsib ilities (with the family and with company)? 25. Tell me a time you felt you did a good job at the company. 26. Tell me a time you did not feel proud of your work 27. Who are the important people to you in your family? Who are the important people to you in your family business? 28. How does your family life influence your work? 29. How does your work influence your family life? 30. Who do you spend the most time with? 31. Do you or did you have a mentor? Please describe the relationship and impact? Why is this person a mentor for you 32. How do you balance job related dut ies and home related duties? Interview Session Two and Three Isolate Situation (actions/feelings/emotion) *interview three will be the sa me questions but based on a positive experience 1. What was the most challenging experien ce you faced this week at your job? 2. Describe the steps that led up to it, the interaction, and what occurred afterward. 3. Why would you define this as a challenging experience?
162 4. Describe the emotions you experienced befo re, during and after this interaction. 5. Describe how they influenced the interaction and your decision making. 6. How does the way you feel influence how you feel about yourself and your job? 7. How frequently does this occur? If has occurred more than once, describe how you normally react to it. If it has not occurred more th an one time, ask them to describe a challenging situ ation they frequently face a work. Then, begin the interview over. 8. Is there an expected way you are supposed to react to this situatio n? If so, tell me a story that illustrates the expected way you are supposed to react to the situation. 9. Who expects you to react this way? 10. Describe what would happen if you did not react in this manner. 11. Do you have to hide or conceal your emotional responses or how you would like to react to this situation? Tell me story about a time you had to do this. Who You Talk With (Social Norms) 12. Can you share your feelings about this w ith anyone? If not, who do you share this with (co-workers, family members)? 13. Who would be someone you cannot share your feelings about this experience with and describe what would happen if you shared this with them. 14. Do you feel comfortable talking abou t this issue in any manner you want? 15. Do others talk about simila r issues? Who does? Describe a time when others have discussed similar things. 16. What are the consequences of addr essing these issues by expressing your concerns? 17. Do others influence the way you feel and handle these situations? Describe this. Space (Social Norms) 18. What role does space play in your situat ion/experience? Descri be an example of this. 19. Are their certain places you prefer to e xpress your feelings about the situation over others? Pleases descri be an example of this. Alternative Reactions
163 20. Do wish you acted in a different manner? Describe why? If so, describe what you would do differently. 21. Describe any regrets you may have about the situation. 22. Describe any aspects you feel posi tive about regarding the situation. 23. Describe how you will handle this situa tion the next time you get in it. 24. Describe why this should or should not be part of your job. 25. Describe any other factor s you think are important. Norm Influences 26. Describe the factors that in fluence your decisions making in situations such as the one you mention above. 27. Describe where emotion fits in with these decision making factors. 28. Is anyone formally or informally evaluating you on how you handle the situation? Describe these evaluations? 29. Does this influence your handling of the situation? If so, describe how. 30. Do you have any perceived conflicting priorities? If so describe them. 31. Describe your alternative opti ons for handling the situation. 32. What would have to change in order for you to handle the situation the way you would like to? Do you have control to cha nge these things or this situation to make it better for you (formally and informally)? Explain. 33. Do you feel as if you will ever ch ange these things? Describe this. 34. Who has the greatest influence in why you make these decisions? 35. Is this the best course of action for you? Describe why.
164 Appendix B Table 1 Demographic Information Pseudonym Age Education Ethnicity Level of Involve ment Type of Business Business Size Age of Current Business Simone 48 College Degree Caucasian Car eer 60+ weekly Medical Distribution Medium 32 years Joy 24 College Degree Caucasian Career 60+ hours weekly Medical Distribution Medium 32 years Abigail 38 MasterÂ’s Degree Caucasian Career 60+ hours weekly Restaurant Small Less than one year Sadie 44 College 2 years Caucasian Career 60+ hours weekly Garage Small 25 years Olivia 35 College Degree Caucasian Career 60+ hours weekly Industrial Shipping Medium 48 years Tonya 35 MasterÂ’s Degree Caucasian Career 60+ hours weekly Warehouse Medium 45 years Candace 34 College Degree Caucasian Stay-a t-home-mom Industr ial Heavy Rigging Medium 54 years Monica 20 College Degree (in progress) Caucasian Part-time employee 25-30 hours weekly Restaurant Small 47 years Loretta 24 College Degree (in progress) Caucasian Fulltime employee 40+ hours weekly Restaurant Small 8 years Viola 20 College Degree (in progress) Asian Part-time employee 25-30 hours weekly Nail Salon Small 10 years Alexandra 20 College Degree (in progress) Asian Fulltime employee 60+ hours weekly Restaurant Small 2 years Renee 26 Ph.D. (in progress) Caucas ian Fulltime on some breaks from school Doctor Office Small ____
About the Author Angela M. Day graduated from the Univer sity of South Florida for both her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in speech communication. He r interests are in pedagogy, gender, work life studies, and organizationa l communication. Her greatest achievements are her 2 year old daughter Anna and her loving marriag e to her husband Todd Miller.