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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Anna Blombäck and Olof Brunninge

This paper seeks to uncover why and how the combination of family and company history in family businesses implies idiosyncratic opportunities in the process to uncover…

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2272

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to uncover why and how the combination of family and company history in family businesses implies idiosyncratic opportunities in the process to uncover, activate, and nurture heritage‐based corporate identities and brands.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion is specifically informed by the literatures on brand heritage, family business, and the notion of hybrid identities. To illustrate this typology of history communication in family businesses the paper relies on web site observations in Sweden and German‐based family businesses.

Findings

Based on the construct of brand heritage, the paper clarifies why the entwinement of family and business provides fertile ground for brand heritage. The presentation of a typology of ways to communicate family, business and family business history respectively further reveals the varying openings and practices of family businesses in this area.

Research limitations/implications

The paper primarily takes an external marketing orientation and is conceptual.

Practical implications

The distinction of two sources of brand heritage in family businesses and the typology of approaches to reflect history in corporate communications should be of interest for practitioners. The findings can serve as an eye‐opener and instrument in the planning of strategic marketing.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on brand heritage and heritage branding from a family business perspective. Being hybrid identity organizations, characterized by entwinement of family and company history, family businesses offer particular perspectives to the heritage brand discussion.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Tarek El Masri, Matthäus Tekathen, Michel Magnan and Emilio Boulianne

Family firms possess dual identities, being the family and the business, which can be segmented and integrated to various degrees. This study examines whether and how…

Abstract

Purpose

Family firms possess dual identities, being the family and the business, which can be segmented and integrated to various degrees. This study examines whether and how management control technologies are calibrated to fit into the dual identities of family firms.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study of 20 family firms was conducted using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with owner-managers, drawings of mental maps and publicly available information. The notion of calibration was developed and used, with its three components of graduation, purpose and reference, as an organizing device for the interpretive understanding of the management control usage and its relation to family firms’ dual identities.

Findings

The study finds that the use of calculative, family-centric and procedural management controls – in sum the pervasive use of management control technologies – are associated with a professionalization of the family firm, a foregrounding of the business identity and a reduction of the disadvantageous side of familiness. In comparison, the pragmatic and minimal use of management control technologies are found to be associated with an emphasis on family identity. It transpires as liberating, engendering trust and unfolding a familial environment.

Research limitations/implications

Because results are derived from a qualitative approach, they are not generalizable at an empirical level. By showing how the use of management control technologies is calibrated with reference to family firms’ dual identities, the paper reveals the perceived potency of control technologies to affect the identity of firms.

Practical implications

The study reveals how family firms perceive management control technologies as strengthening their business identity while weakening their family identity. Thereby, this study provides an account of how management control technologies are expected to change the identity of firms.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the management control and family business literatures because it uncovers how management control technologies are calibrated in reference to family firms’ dual identities. It shows that calculative, family-centric and procedural management controls are used to professionalize the firm and strengthen its business identity as well as to reduce the negative effects of the family identity. The paper also illustrates how the liberating force of using pragmatic and minimal control technologies can serve to give prominence to the family identity.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Sharon M. Danes and Juyoung Jang

The purpose of this paper is to investigate formation of a copreneurial identity during new venture creation by investigating underpinnings of spousal commitment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate formation of a copreneurial identity during new venture creation by investigating underpinnings of spousal commitment considering business communication quality.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was grounded in identity theory, used a longitudinal copreneurial sample, and SEM modeling. Entrepreneurial literature is filled with how entrepreneurs form their identity, but little is known about how entrepreneurs and their spouses mutually form their copreneurial identity.

Findings

Entrepreneurs’ reported spouses having high Time 1 commitment, but spouses reported they were more committed than reported by entrepreneurs. Links between spouse’s Time 1 commitment self‐assessment and Time 2 entrepreneur’s assessment of spousal commitment differed by business communication quality. Time 1 spouse’s commitment self‐assessment was positively related to Time 2 entrepreneur’s appraisal of spousal commitment only for the high business communication group and not for the low business communication group. For couples having high business communication quality, entrepreneur’s assessment of spousal commitment over time was composed of spouse’s self‐assessment of commitment and entrepreneur’s appraisal of spousal commitment, reflecting the mutual verification of a copreneurial identity.

Originality/value

This study provides evidence for Van Auken and Werbel's proposition that an entrepreneur's decision to launch a new business depends not only on opportunity analyses but also on the degree that an entrepreneur's spouse shares a common vision about firm goals. This study not only contributes to the theoretical development of a copreneurial identity but it also addresses measurement issues related to spousal business identity formation. Unlike previous studies considering spousal commitment in terms of marital status or work involvement, a measurement model for spousal commitment was tested using three indicators of cognitive moral commitment. Distinctions were made in stock and flow measures of spousal social capital and initial spousal stock levels were assessed. Furthermore, there appeared to be relatively high consistency between entrepreneur's assessment of spousal commitment and spousal's reflection of their own commitment, suggesting that the spousal commitment construct has some clearly defined properties.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

John M.T. Balmer

Outlines 15 explanations for the fog which has enveloped the nascent domains of corporate identity and corporate marketing. However, the fog surrounding the area has a…

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43531

Abstract

Outlines 15 explanations for the fog which has enveloped the nascent domains of corporate identity and corporate marketing. However, the fog surrounding the area has a silver lining. This is because the fog has, unwittingly, led to the emergence of rich disciplinary, philosophical as well as “national”, schools of thought. In their composite, these approaches have the potential to form the foundations of a new approach to management which might be termed “corporate marketing”. In addition to articulating the author’s understanding of the attributes regarding a business identity (the umbrella label used to cover corporate identity, organisational identification and visual identity) the author outlines the characteristics of corporate marketing and introduces a new corporate marketing mix based on the mnemonic “HEADS”[2]. This relates to what an organisation has, expresses, the affinities of its employees, as well as what the organisation does and how it is seen by stakeholder groups and networks. In addition, the author describes the relationship between the corporate identity and corporate brand and notes the differences between product brands and corporate brands. Finally, the author argues that scholars need to be sensitive to the factors that are contributing to the fog surrounding corporate identity. Only then will business identity/corporate marketing studies grow in maturity.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Cecilia Bjursell and Leif Melin

The purpose of this paper is to offer a new perspective on entrepreneurial identity as a narrative construction, emerging in stories about entering the family business.

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1090

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a new perspective on entrepreneurial identity as a narrative construction, emerging in stories about entering the family business.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative methodological approach involves an interpretative analysis of transcribed interviews conducted in narrative style with 12 women from Swedish family businesses.

Findings

By presenting entrepreneurial identity as a combination of two distinct narratives, the “passive” entrance into the family business is highlighted. The “Pippi Longstocking” narrative illustrates conscious choices, drive and motivation based on an entrepreneurial identification: the proactive plot. The “Alice in Wonderland” narrative on the other hand, illustrates women who happen to become entrepreneurs or business persons because the family business was there: the reactive plot. The contrasting and complementing narratives illustrate ambiguities in the identity process.

Practical implications

The authors identified the following opportunities for women in family business: the family business can offer easy access to a career and on‐the‐job learning opportunities; education in other areas can be useful when learning how to manage and develop the family business; and the family business offers a generous arena for pursuing a career at different life stages. Implications for education as well as for policy makers are also presented.

Originality/value

The narratives presented are given metaphorical names with the intention to evoke the reader's reflection and reasoning by analogy, which can lead to new insights. The use of metaphors illustrates multiple layers and ambiguities in identity construction. Metaphors can also create awareness of the researcher as a co‐creator of knowledge.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Antonella La Rocca and Ivan Snehota

The purpose of this paper is to explore how corporate associations emerge in business networks focusing on mutually attributed identities in customer-supplier…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how corporate associations emerge in business networks focusing on mutually attributed identities in customer-supplier relationships. The role of the mutually perceived identities for interaction behaviours of the parties is examined and consequences of multiple emergent identities for management are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a conceptual one starting from an overview of prior research on corporate associations in marketing, findings on distinctive features of business markets and review of studies on identity in interaction processes.

Findings

Departing from various strands of research on the origin and role of corporate associations in the literature the authors argue that corporate associations, in business networks are relationship specific and continuously emergent, and that businesses acquire multiple identities in relation to main stakeholders as customers and suppliers. The relationship specificity, emergent nature and multiplicity of relationship-specific identities have consequences for management.

Originality/value

This study is among the few that explore the role of corporate associations in business-to-business context. It results in two propositions: first, that corporate associations are relationship specific and continuously emergent and, second, that businesses operating in business networks have to cope with multiple relationship-specific identities. Both propositions are original and contribute to the understanding of dynamics of business relationships and networks.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Torsten Schmidts and Deborah Shepherd

The purpose of this paper is to use social identity theory to explore factors that contribute to the development of family social capital. Effects are investigated both…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use social identity theory to explore factors that contribute to the development of family social capital. Effects are investigated both for the family and the business.

Design/methodology/approach

A single in-depth case study focussing on the family unit was coducted within a fourth-generation family business involved in the arts retailing.

Findings

The findings suggest that social identity theory is a useful lens to explore the development of family social capital. The six themes identified highlight that there is a normative and an affective dimension, leading to family members’ desire to uphold the status of the business. Evidence suggests that the normative factors may be both positively and negatively related to the development of family social capital, due to their potentially restrictive nature.

Originality/value

The paper’s findings imply that social identity can contribute to understanding family dynamics. Evidence highlights various factors for family members that are not involved in the family business to uphold its status. This is attributed to the emotional significance of the business to the family’s identity. Furthermore, this paper suggests that the strong focus on norms and values, which developed gradually, may have adverse effects on the identification with the business and the willingness to uphold its status. Propositions are offered to provide guidance for future research to investigate this controversial evidence regarding the impact of value orientation on family social capital.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Anneleen Van Boxstael and Lien Denoo

We advance theory of how founder identity affects business model (BM) design during new venture creation and contribute to the cognitive perspective on BMs. We look at BM…

Abstract

We advance theory of how founder identity affects business model (BM) design during new venture creation and contribute to the cognitive perspective on BMs. We look at BM design as a longitudinal process involving a variety of cognitive work that is co-shaped by the founder identity work. Based on an in-depth nine-year process study of a single venture managed by three founders, we observed that a novelty-centered BM design resulted from cognitive work co-shaped by founder identity construction and verification processes. Yet, more remarkably, we noted that founder identity verification decreased over time and observed a process that we labeled “identity-business model decoupling.” It meant that the founders did not alter their founder identity but, over time, attentively grew self-aware and mindfully disengaged negative identity effects to design an effective BM. Our results provide a dynamic view on founder identity imprinting on ventures’ BMs and contribute to the identity, BM, and entrepreneurship literatures.

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Colleen E. Mills and Faith Jeremiah

This study presents an original empirically based conceptual framework representing mobile microbusiness founders' experiences when converting to a franchise business

Abstract

Purpose

This study presents an original empirically based conceptual framework representing mobile microbusiness founders' experiences when converting to a franchise business model that links individual-level variables to a sociomaterial process.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory interpretive research design produced this framework using data from the enterprise development narratives of mobile franchisors who had recently converted their mobile microbusinesses to a franchise business model.

Findings

The emergent framework proposes that franchisor’s conversion experience involves substantial identity work prompted by an identity dilemma originating in a conflict between role expectations and franchising operational demands. This dilemma materializes during franchise document creation and requires some degree of “identity undoing” to ensure business continuity. By acting as boundary-objects-in-use in the conversion process, the franchise documents provide a sociomaterial foundation for the business transition and the development of a viable franchisor identity.

Research limitations/implications

There is scant literature addressing the startup experiences of mobile microbusiness franchisors. The study was therefore exploratory, producing a substantive conceptual framework that will require further confirmatory studies.

Practical implications

By proposing that conversion to a franchise business model is experienced as an identity transformation coupled to a sociomaterial process centred on system documentation, this original empirically based conceptual framework not only addresses a gap in the individual-level literature on franchise development but also provides a framework to direct new research and discussions between intending franchisors and their professional advisors about person–enterprise fit.

Originality/value

The conceptual framework is the first to address franchisors' experience of transitioning any type of microbusiness to a franchise business model.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2019

Debadutta Kumar Panda

The purpose of this study is to understand the business ecosystem through the “identity” construct. “Identity” is a well-researched subject in sociology and psychology but…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand the business ecosystem through the “identity” construct. “Identity” is a well-researched subject in sociology and psychology but as a construct, its application is limited in management and organization studies, especially in the ecosystem context. This study used “identity” to examine the management and organization of stone carving microenterprise clusters in India.

Design/methodology/approach

The examination followed classical grounded theory approach for data collection and data analysis. Data collection was made by a mixture of focus group discussions, informal discussions, personal observations, etc., and it followed a series of thematic analysis under the qualitative technique. Further, a structured questionnaire was used to collect information, and the data analysis was done through structural equation modelling and confirmatory factor analysis.

Findings

The study identified and established ten identities of the producers, two identities of the suppliers and two identities of the customers. There were identity-interlinkages within each stakeholder, and among the stakeholders, creating a solid, static and rigid ecosystem for ages.

Originality/value

This paper made a new and significant contribution to the literature on the business ecosystem.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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