Standing in the shadow of the corporation: Women and their career patterns in Swedish family businesses 1880-1980

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/12/2013
Funding: 1563000 SEK


Leading corporate families have been dominating Swedish business since the 19th century. Traditionally women played invisible roles in family businesses as spouses and daughters. This project is studying the role and involvement of daughters within leading family businesses in Sweden 1880-1980. With few exceptions, it was the eldest son who took over the family firm. Previous research on women and especially daughters of corporate families are limited - even from an international perspective. The male leader has often been seen as an unproblematic issue, not least in business history. The project´s study object is the 15-20 families who had extensive property interests in the Swedish industry. Some families remained in power throughout the period (eg Broström and Carlander), while others were added during the time (eg Persson, Kamprad). The project will investigate, empirically and theoretically, why corporate families like Ax: son Johnson encouraged their daughters in early activity, while families like Wallenberg did not. A recently established database of daughters´ career patterns will contribute to understanding the involvement of women in family business. Qualitative and quantitative data are gathered via previously never utilized archives. Biographical and quantitative methods will be applied to identify these women and their careers in order to understand gender-related issues in the family business throughout the period.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:56