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The aim of this study is to advance knowledge on family firms' entry mode choices by examining the linkage between target market context, especially in the emerging…
The aim of this study is to advance knowledge on family firms' entry mode choices by examining the linkage between target market context, especially in the emerging economies of China and India, and the dominant family firm logic of keeping ownership and control in the family.
We use an exploratory multiple case study analysis approach based on nine German family firms' internationalization endeavors. We use both primary and secondary data.
Traditionally, extant research concludes that family principals prefer foreign direct investments (FDIs) in order to exert maximum control when entering international markets. In contrast, our study finds a clear preference for international joint ventures (IJVs) as an initial entry mode of choice into unfamiliar markets. Our findings propose this decision to be rooted in cultural unfamiliarity and the complexity of the target markets' legal environment. The effect of these two factors is amplified by prior IJVs experiences.
This article offers several original insights. First, we identify the triggers of the paradoxical IJVs’ entry mode choice among family firms and thus explain the motivation for breaking with the dominant family firm logic of maximizing control. Second, we account for factors in China's and India's particular emerging market environments. In the light of family control, the unfamiliarity with these markets triggers the decision to compensate for the high level of uncertainty by engaging in an IJV partnership. Third, our study shows that family firms are indeed willing to share control if it serves the long-term survival of the firm.
Challenging the static view of family business governance, we propose a model of owner–manager relationships derived from the configurational analysis of managerial…
Challenging the static view of family business governance, we propose a model of owner–manager relationships derived from the configurational analysis of managerial behavior and change in governance structure.
Stemming from social exchange theory and building on the 4C model proposed by Miller and Le Breton-Miller (2005), we consider the evolving owner–manager relationship in four main configurations. On the one hand, we account for family businesses shifting from a generalized to a restricted exchange system, and vice versa, according to whether a family manager misbehaves in a stewardship-oriented governance structure or a nonfamily manager succeeds in building a trusting relationship in an agency-oriented governance structure. On the other hand, we consider that family firms will strengthen a generalized exchange system, rather than a restricted one, according to whether a family manager contributes to the stewardship-oriented culture in the business or a nonfamily manager proves to be driven by extrinsic rewards. Four scenarios are analyzed in terms of the managerial behavior and governance structure that characterize the phases of the relationship between owners and managers.
Various factors trigger managerial behavior, making the firm deviate from or further build on what is assumed by stewardship and agency theories (i.e. proorganizational versus opportunistic behavior, respectively), which determine the governance structure over time. Workplace deviance, asymmetric altruism and patriarchy on the one hand, and proorganizational behavior, relationship building and long-term commitment on the other, are found to determine how the manager behaves and thus characterize the owner's reactions in terms of governance mechanisms. This enables us to present a dynamic view of governance structures, which adapt to the actual attitudes and behaviors of employed managers.
As time is a relevant dimension affecting individual behavior and triggering change in an organization, one must consider family business governance as being dynamic in nature. Moreover, it is not family membership that determines the most appropriate governance structure but the owner–manager relationship that evolves over time, thus contributing to the 4C model.
The proposed model integrates social exchange theory and the 4C model to predict changes in governance structure, as summarized in the final framework we propose.