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Influence of socioemotional wealth on non-family managers’ risk taking and product innovation in family businesses

Poh Yen Ng (Christ Church Business School, Canterbury Christ Church University, Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK)
Mumin Dayan (College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
Marianna Makri (Miami Herbert Business School, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 24 December 2021

Issue publication date: 22 March 2022




There is a growing interest in understanding family firms’ strategic behavior using the socioemotional wealth (SEW) perspective. This study explores how family SEW dimensions influence non-family managers’ attitudes toward risk in the context of product innovation. This study also examines whether managerial risk-taking mediates the relationship between SEW and product innovation.


The study uses a sample of 150 family firms in the United Arab Emirates and collects data from family owners and non-family managers via self-administered questionnaires. The study uses SmartPLS structural equation modeling to test the conceptual model and the proposed hypotheses.


The results indicate that multidimensional SEW influences non-family managers’ risk-taking behavior in different magnitudes and directions, thus impacting firms’ product innovation. Moreover, risk-taking partially mediates the relationship between SEW dimensions and product innovation.


While product innovation could be seen as a loss scenario for family firms due to the potential loss of SEW, growth, continuity and reputation outweighed the desire to maintain control for the firms in this sample. Thus, these firms encourage non-family managers to take risks in product innovation.



The research is funded by the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU-UPAR Grant #31B132).


Ng, P.Y., Dayan, M. and Makri, M. (2022), "Influence of socioemotional wealth on non-family managers’ risk taking and product innovation in family businesses", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 297-319.



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