Self-employment: The significance of families for professional intentions and choice of company type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence that family factors have on an individual’s intention to be self-employed. Design/methodology/approach – The authors selected, from Swedish national registers, all full siblings born between 1945 and 1960 and their biological children, who were born before 1985. The authors created one family database consisting of male individuals (n=1,204,436) and one family database consisting of female individuals (n=1,349,904). The authors defined the outcome variable during the years 2003-2010. Separate analyses were conducted for each of the four outcome variables: all self-employed individuals, owners of limited liability companies, sole traders and hybrids. The authors used multi-level logistic analysis for this study. Findings – The study demonstrates that the influence that family factors have on an individual’s choice of company type is strong; however, it varies depending on intentions transferred within the family. Originality/value – The authors divide self-employment into three distinct parts based on the company type, which enables a sophisticated analysis of self-employed individuals and of the transference of intentions to be self-employed within families. The authors contribute to the understanding of why individuals become self-employed by examining the impact of family factors on the intention of an individual to choose different types of company.


  • Tobias Schölin
  • Per Broomé
  • Henrik Ohlsson
External organisations
  • Malmö University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • Entrepreneurs, Family, Intentions, Self-employment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-345
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 3
Publication categoryResearch