Parents’ performance in entrepreneurship as a “double-edged sword” for the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship

Giuseppe Criaco*, Philipp Sieger, Karl Wennberg, Francesco Chirico, Tommaso Minola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate how perceived parents’ performance in entrepreneurship (PPE) affects the entrepreneurial career intentions of offspring. We argue that while perceived PPE enhances offspring’s perceived entrepreneurial desirability and feasibility because of exposure mechanisms, it inhibits the translation of both desirability and feasibility perceptions into entrepreneurial career intentions due to upward social comparison mechanisms. Thus, perceived PPE acts as a double-edged sword for the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship. Our predictions are tested and confirmed on a sample of 21,895 individuals from 33 countries. This study advances the literature on intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship by providing a foundation for understanding the social psychological conditions necessary for such transmission to occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-864
Number of pages24
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Entrepreneurial career intention
  • Intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship
  • Parents’ performance in entrepreneurship
  • Perceived desirability
  • Perceived feasibility
  • Social comparison theory

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