Role Of Childhood Family Environment In Business
Countries are said to be rich or poor depending on their level of economic development (Resurrection, 2001). You have heard, for example, the Philippines frequently described as a developing economy. This is because it is a poor nation in the process of building up its resources in order to become richer (Siochi, 2003). You know of course, that the United States, Japan and Germany are wealthy or highly developed nations. At the other extreme are countries like Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Pakistan — all said to be underdeveloped economically (Resurrection, 2001). A country grows rich or poor depending on the extent by which its people have become entrepreneurial.
“Entrepreneurial people are those who are able to perceive and take advantage of economic opportunities, who innovate and develop new products and services and one that invest their time, money and efforts to run a business” (Liberal, 1989). There was a time when it was believed that entrepreneurs were born rather than made. So unique and so rare were their qualities that they could not be found just anywhere (McClelland, 1981). Not everyone goes through the same set of life experiences. Any person will always come from another in his abilities and potential to succeed in any vocation (Siochi, 2003). Developing certain attitudes and values that help generate entrepreneurial qualities are the foundations of excellent performance in business. The overall parental relationship can establish the desirability of entrepreneurial activity for the individual (McClelland, 1981). Parents can be supportive and encourage independence, achievement and responsibility. Role model is one of the most important factors influencing entrepreneurs in their career choices because entrepreneurial qualities can be developed early in life as a result of childhood training (Resurrection, 2001).
In most human behavior, entrepreneurial traits are shaped by personal attributes and environment which is first the role of childhood family environment in business (Siochi, 2003). Studies revealed that successful entrepreneur come from homes wherein independence and self-reliance were given premium value (Dubrin, 2002). They were not rewarded if they were lazy, demanding and spoiled but if they showed diligence, initiative and independent action their parents were permissive and rewarding (Resurrection, 2001). Thus, growing up in a strict, authoritarian environment effectively kills the independent spirit which is the first hallmark of successful entrepreneur (Hisrichi, 1999).
Exposure of children to self-reliance, independence, decision-making and hard work early in life has a lot to do with developing the personality of a person (McClelland, 1989). Based on strong evidence, in terms of the occupation of the entrepreneur’s parents, they tend to have self-employed father provides a strong inspiration for the independent nature and flexibility at an early age (Dubrin, 2002). But there are also who come from families which had been unsteady and had experienced crisis situations. Such children must have been forced, and therefore learned early to feed themselves, find ways of living and make decisions on their own (Resurrection, 2001).
According to McClelland (1989), “they appear to have the feeling of achieving something through their own effort and thus, they were very goal-directed and achievement-oriented”. McClelland’s work about the entrepreneur’s need for achievement specified three attributes as characteristic of entrepreneurs. First they are the individual responsible for solving problems, setting goals and reaching these goals through their own efforts, they are also being moderate risk taking as a function of skills and lastly they have the knowledge of results of decision accomplishment.
Childhood family environment also change the way a person interact with other people. People who have studied origins found that entrepreneurs generally come from families whose cultures specified on certain activities and concepts such as ideals competition and views on trading (Liberal, 1989). Cultures which maintain the ideals of competition assumed that good, honest competition is healthy rather than chief to an unfair control of the business (Mangabat, 2001).
There are cultures that promote entrepreneurship confers social ranks in terms of actual achievements rather than status of birth like the caste system of India, where the one who is born into the farmer caste carries the status of the farmer (Oliver, 2002). On the other hand, Mangabat (2001) believed that in a culture that encourages entrepreneurship like Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines, a person can be rich even if he was born to a beggar once upon a time. A person is not born with a particular set of values. They are learned by the age of 4 where he or she acquired them in the process of growing up through observing others or models such as their parents, teachers, brothers and sisters, friends and even public figure (Leunach, 2000).
In many ways, our Filipino values are favorable to entrepreneurship (Madrono, 1989). Take for instance our value for pakikipagkapwa (human relations) which say to us to treat others as human beings (Kotler, 1999). The value of kasipagan (industriousness) is an essential characteristic of an entrepreneur where he can prevent the attitude of Juan Tamad by working hard to achieve prosperity (MadroÃ±o, 1989). Siochi (2003) sees that Filipinos are persistent and preserving people who do not easily give up on trials and problems that is why we always admired those who are mapagtiis (enduring). He also added that another manifestation of our endurance is our emphasis on pagtitimpi (self-control) in which our capacity to endure emotional and physical stress can help us in business. We also place a high value on pagtitipid (thrift) which our parents taught us to be wise spenders and savers so that we would not grow up like Asyong Aksaya (Asyong the spend-thrift) who was a personification of the extravagant and unprogressive Filipino (Liberal, 1989).
The emphasis on “togetherness” provides plenty of support to any aspiring entrepreneur. According to Ms. Maria Cristine D. Ho, a bookkeeper and shareholder at Brookside Farm Corp., her family is the one who guided, supported and inspired her to be the best that she can be and that she has no reason to be overly fearful because she is always surrounded by her family. Even though it was not her first choice to be in that business, her parents influence and taught her the values of honesty, hard work, cooperation and self-sacrifice for the common good of her family. That is the reason why people are characteristically in possession of lakas ng loob which is vital for launching a business (Taylor, 2000). At the root of this value lie all our standards for interaction with others which our parents taught us to be (Liberal, 1989).
Lastly, childhood family environment influence a person’s outlook towards business. Exposures to parents who are in business or in related occupations also seem to help cultivate entrepreneurship in children (Ressurection, 2001). Like Alfredo C. Ongyanco’s success story which provides some evidence that early exposure and training in technical skills and craftsmanship, more than University education has greatly helped him to became a multimillionaire (Embisan, 2000). This is the way Chinese train their children, their parents consider the training both as play and education for the child (Araneta, 2002). During Christmas or summertime, you will see in Divisoria and Quiapo or any market place where there are Chinamen, young boys and girls helping their parents out in their stores. They make wise use of vacation time to learn a trade (Resurrection, 2001).
There are people who belong from families that are migrants in a place. One explanation is that there families migrated because they could not freely practice entrepreneurship in their homelands where they are bound by traditions. Another is that families who migrate often find difficulty landing traditional jobs where there are local people in need of the same jobs (Resurrection, 2001).
In conclusion, the role of childhood family environment shapes your personality, the way you interact with other people and outlook towards business. Early training in independence, self-reliance, decision-making and hard work is important in preparing individuals for entrepreneurship (McClelland, 1989). It is the family or home that exerts its greatest influence in shaping most future behaviors of the adult person the child will become (Resurrection, 2001). In addition, values held by a culture are likewise important
to sustain entrepreneurial activities and Philippine culture largely instills values beneficial to entrepreneurship (Liberal, 1989). Even if evidence show that entrepreneurial qualities are developed fairly early in life, these do not necessarily discount the possibility that these may be developed among adults, especially young adults like you — if they so decide to want it (Resurrection, 1989). The important point to remember is that the human personality is so flexible that it can absorb new inputs — new values, new attitudes, etc. — as long as one is convinced of their necessity and usefulness.
Leunach, H. (2000). International Business Tips. Washington D.C.: Lexvig Inc.
Hisrichi, R. (1999). The Woman Entrepreneur: Starting, Financing and Managing Successful New Business. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Dubrin, A. (2002). Effective Business Psychology. Mexico: Prentice Hall International Editions, 95-96,248.
McClelland, D. (1989). Critical Factors for Starting a New Enterprise: The Entrepreneurial Process. Unites States of America: Prentice Hall Inc.
Resurrection, A., Mangabat, A., & Embisan, N. (2001). Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Diliman Q.C.: Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation, 71, 83-88.
Kotler, P. (1999). Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning and Control, p.76.
MadroÃ±o, Z., & Liberal, A. (1989). Small Business Guides No.6. SERDEF Inc.
Siochi, M. (2003). Developing Yourself for Entrepreneurship. Q.C.: U.P. Institute for Small-scale Industries, 28, 50-54.
Taylor, E. (2000). Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth. Manila: Liwayway Printing Press Inc.
Oliver, M. (2002). Cultural Values Influencing Career Management. Campbridge, MA: Ballinger, 38-39.
Araneta, R. (2002). The Entrepreneurial Quality. Manila: U.P. Institute for Small-scale Industries.