Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning About Money in the Family Business: Financial Literacy Through the Lens of Strong Structuration Theory
by Killorin, Jamesine Marsden, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2017, 210; 10252776
Abstract (Summary)

This case study researched the learning of financial literacy in a five-generation family business. Stones’s (2005) strong structuration methodological framework was used to explore the external structures of context and the internal structures of disposition or habitus and knowledge in the social learning of financial literacy defined as a combination of awareness, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors. Case study data were collected from two-part life history interviews, historical records, documents, websites, video, and observations. The research participants included 10 members from two generations of the family.

Through the theoretical lens of Stones’s (2005) strong structuration theory, the study identified meso-level structural features and patterns of interactions across three generations that shaped the five dimensions of financial literacy of agents at the micro level. Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory supplemented strong structuration to consider the interactions, generative conceptions, anticipatory capabilities, and self-efficacy of agents- in-situ.

The study concluded that regional or locally implicit norms became family financial norms through patterns of social structuring. Strongly reinforced family norms were salient in financial attitudes and behaviors throughout the life course. Structuring patterns of interaction, including traditional family roles for men and women, were found to influence agents’ general dispositions and generative conceptions of their capabilities. Case evidence suggested that differences in enactive experiences influenced the financial self-efficacy of agents.

Power in position-practice relations was found to reinforce information asymmetries among agents, which can affect financial attitudes and financial decision behaviors. Altruism and agents’ risk dispositions can lead to firm-level inertia and lead to risk exposure for individuals.

The sociological approach of this study demonstrated that to gain an understanding of the applied nature of financial literacy as active agency at the micro level, inquiry focused solely on financial outcomes is insufficient. The research showed that the five dimensions of financial literacy arise in dynamic combinations in the shaping of external and internal structures through social interactions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schwandt, David R.
Commitee: Casey, Andrea J., Rahael, Annette
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Finance, Social structure
Keywords: Family business, Financial literacy, Strong structuration theory
Publication Number: 10252776
ISBN: 978-1-369-45543-4
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