Enrique Sandino Vargas (2020)

Capturing the antecedents and aftermath of a family business process: The entrepreneurial journey of a displaced agricultural family in Colombia

This study examines a displaced agricultural family during its entrepreneurial journey in Colombia using a single case study, following an inductive and interpretivist approach. The main objective of the dissertation is to explain how family interactions, historical events, and context influence the decision to start and potentially reactivate an agricultural family business. It adopts the family as a unit of analysis for examining the intergenerational dynamics between spouses and siblings, parents, and offspring, and explores the family’s influence on decisions about creating a farming business, being forced to leave the land, and using the restituted land to potentially reactive the family business. The case study was conducted between 2016 and 2019 and includes a snapshot visit to the field, face-to-face interviews with members of three generations of the Cabrera family and other stakeholders, as well as abundant secondary materials. The snapshot visit to Colombia was important for obtaining sensitivity and an understanding of the displaced agricultural family on its land and the violence and crime that its members were e-posed to. The study adopts a narrative approach for presenting the accounts of the second and third-generation members. It adopts a window of time of the family-life context from 1958 to 2019. Family members’ life stories highlight critical events during the entrepreneurial Journey of the displaced agricultural family.

Following the family through its life context, this study interprets the agricultural family members’ accounts of the formation of the family and its business, its land, displacement from the land, restitution of the land, and the potential reactivation of the business against the backdrop of violence, crime, and land evictions in the country. The Cabrera family’s entrepreneurial journey is interpreted along four phases making sense of the family history.