Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises — I. Close to the Heart

Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises — I. Close to the Heart

William Bergquist

Entrepreneurship is needed in the postmodern reality of 21st Century life. The “enterprise zone,” which got so much press (at least in the United States) during the 1990s, must be defined in a new way, engaging an entrepreneurial spirit to courageously and effectively address the postmodern challenges of complexity, unpredictability and turbulence. Organizational psychologists can play an important role in meeting the distinctive challenges associated with entrepreneurial leadership in closely held enterprises. What are these challenges and how might an organizational psychologist help an entrepreneur meet these challenges? Furthermore, what are the unique challenges that the organizational psychologist faces when working with entrepreneurs in closely held enterprises?

The Closely Held Enterprise

Before identifying and describing these challenges, we must indicate what a “closely held enterprise” is—given that this is not yet a commonly used term. We propose that there are four types of organizations that fit in this category:
Type One/The Family-Owned Business: single person ownership, immediate family ownership, extended family ownership, corporate stock held exclusively by family members (for example, a large family-owned insurance company, a major automobile dealership, a high-status restaurant chain).


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About the Author

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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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