Money is key for American family business owners, while their Finnish counterparts value time and tend to stick to what they know best.
That’s according to a new doctoral thesis, Construction of the Entrepreneurial Identity in the Family Business Context, which found big difference in how Finnish family business owners and their US counterparts see themselves and their entrepreneurial identities.
Americans were self-confident and more likely to try working across a number of areas, while the Finnish were more modest and preferred focusing on areas they had good knowledge of, found the study.
“To many of [the US respondents] no amount of money is sufficient to qualify as enough money but money making itself is the action to be pursued,” wrote author Anne Laakkonen.
“Finnish respondents did not seem to view money as an end result but a tool with which to gain free time, which can be seen as a symbol of success and the result of hard work,” she added, although the Finns often dealt with work-related matters during free time.
The study also found that American respondents viewed no contact or opportunity to make contacts as insignificant, while the Finnish family business owners were not as active in their networking efforts.
However, entrepreneurs from both countries valued honesty, hard work and the family, according to the research, which focused on businesses which had either been transferred or would be transferred to the next generation.