Gendered discourse about family business

Sharon M. Danes, Heather R. Haberman, Donald McTavish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Language patterns of family business owners were explored by identifying discourse styles and emphasized ideas in four presenting contexts: business, family, intersection of family and business, and business success. The content analysis supports the existence of a general discourse style within family businesses and of similarities and differences between men and women in emphasized ideas as they frame their family businesses. The emotional discourse style (words of personal involvement, concern, and preference) was prominent across contexts for both genders, and there was a distinct absence of analytical language. Women had a higher emotional discourse style score for managing the business than did men, and balanced their emotional language with the practicality of planning tasks and creating efficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-130
Number of pages15
JournalFamily relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Discourse
  • Discourse analysis
  • Family
  • Gender
  • Work


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