Role demands, difficulty in managing work-family conflict, and minority entrepreneurs

Lois M. Shelton*, Sharon M. Danes, Micki Eisenman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


By exploring difficulty in managing work-family conflict for minority entrepreneurs, this study considers work-family issues for business persons who have received little attention in the literature, yet form new businesses at rates exceeding the national average. We employ a role theory perspective to examine two major research questions using a nationally representative sample of African-American, Mexican-American, Korean-American, and White business owners. Specifically, we ask: do minority business owners experience greater difficulty in managing conflicts between work and family roles when compared to White entrepreneurs? And does difficulty in managing work-family conflict negatively impact business performance? Empirical results show that Korean-American and Mexican-American entrepreneurs have greater role demands, and subsequently, higher levels of difficulty in managing work-family conflict than African-Americans and Whites. Furthermore, difficulty in managing work-family conflict negatively impacts business performance whether performance is measured through the perception of the business owner, or through more objective financial measures. We contribute to the literature on minority entrepreneurs as well as expand the work-family conflict literature by shifting the focus from employed individuals to entrepreneurs, and by emphasizing the effect of such conflict on performance rather than well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)315-342
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Developmental Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Lois M. Shelton gratefully acknowledges research support from the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) University Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award Competition, and from the CSUN College of Business and Economics Research & Grants Committee. The authors would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their insights.

Funding Information:
The Minority Business Research Group (MBRG), through two major research projects, conducted the 2003 and 2005 National Minority Business Owner Surveys (2003 and 2005 NMBOSs). The first project was the “2003 National Minority Business Owner Surveys, Whites and African-Americans (2003 NMBOSs),” which was funded by GreenPoint Financial Corporation and managed by Alvin N. Puryear, Edward G. Rogoff, Myung-Soo Lee, and Ramona K. Z. Heck at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, Baruch College. Interview questionnaires, originally developed by the Family Business Research Group (FBRG) relative to 1997/2000 National Family Business Surveys (1997/2000 NFBSs), were adapted (Winter et al., 2004).


  • Minority entrepreneurs
  • Role theory
  • Work-family conflict


Dive into the research topics of 'Role demands, difficulty in managing work-family conflict, and minority entrepreneurs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this