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Cognition, emotion and action: persistent sources of parent–offspring paradoxes in the family business

Miguel Pina e Cunha (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Maria João Soares Leitão (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Stewart Clegg (University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway) (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Remedios Hernández-Linares (Financial Economy and Accounting Department, Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain)
Horia Moasa (Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania)
Kathleen Randerson (Audencia Business School, Nantes, France)
Arménio Rego (Católica Porto Business School, Porto, Portugal) (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisboa, Portugal)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Article publication date: 22 March 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




The purpose of the study is to explore inductively the unique paradoxical tensions central to family business (FB) and to analyze how FB's members face these tensions and their implications in the personal and professional realms.


A multiple-case study with 11 parent–offspring dyads from Portuguese FBs was conducted putting the focus on the micro-level interactions.


The slopes of roles and relationality in FBs produces three persistent sets of tensions around cognition, emotion and action. These tensions exist in a paradoxical state, containing potentiality for synergy or trade-off.


Our study is the first to empirically demonstrate that paradoxical tensions between parent and offspring are interrelated, by emphasizing the uniqueness of FB as a paradoxical setting and offering insights to negotiating of these singular paradoxes.



The authors are thankful for the research funding support to Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (UID/ECO/00124/2013, UID/ECO/00124/2019, UID/GES/00731/2019, and Social Sciences DataLab, LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-022209), POR Lisboa (LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-007722, LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-022209) and POR Norte (LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-022209).


Cunha, M.P.e., Soares Leitão, M.J., Clegg, S., Hernández-Linares, R., Moasa, H., Randerson, K. and Rego, A. (2022), "Cognition, emotion and action: persistent sources of parent–offspring paradoxes in the family business", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 729-749.



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