Explorations of dynamic power processes within copreneurial couples

Patricia R. Hedberg, Sharon M. Danes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Recent researchers have called for a more detailed and nuanced investigation of the behavioral dynamics of an important family firm and entrepreneurial unit of analysis, the married copreneurial couple. In this study, we provide a rare examination of the dynamic power processes within copreneurial couples as a bridge between entrepreneurship and family firm research. Multiple methods, including self-reports, observational coding of team interviews, and analytic induction with team and individual interviews, found support for the importance of copreneurial power structures and interactions for business productivity. Rich field data illustrate the foundational role of an inclusive power structure. Moreover, findings suggest that copreneurial businesses where spouses are seen as equal partners engaging in collaborative power interactions are likely to result in a more productive business decision team that has the resilience to creatively solve important business problems. Several theory-building propositions for copreneurial couple power processes are proposed. Implications for copreneurial couples, entrepreneurial teams, family business consultants, and future research in power structure and power interaction dynamics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Business Strategy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported, in part, through the Family Owned Business Institute Research Scholar Award, Seidman School of Business, Grand Valley State University and the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Hatch Project No. 4709. Minnesota and Iowa Small Business Development Centers provided support through sampling and data collection.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Copreneurial couples
  • Copreneurs
  • Entrepreneurial teams
  • Family business performance
  • Power dynamics
  • Power interactions
  • Power structure


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