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Entrepreneurial Strategies in a Family Business: Growth and Capital Conversions in Historical Perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tom McGovern



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article focuses on the entrepreneurial and pro-social activities of William Rushworth II from 1897–1944. He inherited a family business modest in scale, which eventually became one of the largest music houses in the world. The Company business model incorporated entrepreneurial and pro-social activities. Our theoretical model shows the transmutability of the forms of capital and how they were utilised by William to identify productive opportunities in the music industry sub-field. Our findings show that converting cultural capital into economic capital was of prime importance to an entrepreneur operating within the cultural industries. Bridging social capital was vital to build links vertically and horizontally across the industry value chain to transform cultural capital into symbolic and economic capital. Intra-field habitus hybridisation was utilised to transfer practices within the different sub-fields of the cultural industries. William transformed his economic capital into social and cultural capital through his support and sponsorship of music and the arts. Business success led to appointments to prestigious organisations and entry into the field of power.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wong ND, McGovern T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Business History

Year: 2020

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 03/09/2020

Acceptance date: 24/07/2020

Date deposited: 30/07/2020

ISSN (print): 0007-6791

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7938

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2020.1807952


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