The entrepreneurial role within a global firm operating in a niche market

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

European Business Review




School of Business




Alonso, A. D.(2016). The entrepreneurial role within a global firm operating in a niche market. European Business Review, 28(2), 118-136. Available here


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the significance of entrepreneurial role from the perspective of a global, family-owned firm located in Uruguay and operating in a niche market. Design/methodology/approach – This case study adopts role theory as its theoretical framework. Face-to-face, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with the firm’s ownership/management. The data were analysed using content analysis. Findings – During the interviews, the importance of entrepreneurs’ role was highlighted in various ways. For instance, role emerged in the form of re-developing a business vision, executing strategies and ideas, anticipating events, innovating and internationalising. Together, these key elements helped build entrepreneurial resilience in light of emerging issues. An alignment with various perspectives of role theory, including “functional”, “symbolic interactionist” and “structural” was identified. Practical implications – The role of the succeeding generation of the firm’s ownership not only is fundamental in reinforcing an entrepreneurial path established by the firm’s founder but also is critical in building upon the earlier foundation, continue innovating and adapting to contemporary challenges in a very dynamic business environment. Originality/value – The present study makes an original contribution, by examining the significance of entrepreneurial role through the lens of role theory. In this context, the case of a medium-sized, global Latin American family business is investigated. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.



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