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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2019

Mohammad Rezaur Razzak, Raida Abu Bakar and Norizah Mustamil

Socioemotional wealth (SEW) has emerged as a defining concept that distinguishes family-owned business organizations from businesses that are not exclusively controlled by…

Abstract

Purpose

Socioemotional wealth (SEW) has emerged as a defining concept that distinguishes family-owned business organizations from businesses that are not exclusively controlled by family coalitions. This empirical study expands the literature by presenting a more nuanced understanding of how individual dimensions of socioemotional wealth interacts with firm performance outcomes. Deploying the stakeholder theory, the purpose of this study is to propose a research model linking the five dimensions of SEW with firm performance to propose and test a set of hypotheses.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the hypotheses, data were collected through a survey of 357 medium-to-large private family firms in Bangladesh that were involved in export-oriented production of ready-made garments. Based on structural equation modeling, the data were analyzed using SmartPLS.

Findings

The results indicate that out of the five dimensions of SEW, three dimensions – family identification, emotional attachment and renewal of bonds through dynastic succession – have a positive and significant impact on firm performance. On the other hand, family control and influence have a significant but negative impact on firm performance. The only exception is in the case of binding social ties, which indicate a non-significant relationship.

Research limitations/implications

By attempting to provide a clearer and predictable link between family-centric non-economic goals and firm-centric business goals, the study contributes to theory building and attempts to address the conflict in the literature in the study of family involvement in management and performance of the business enterprise.

Practical implications

For industry practitioners and family business owners, it could provide guidance on which family-centric goals would maximize benefits to the firm and address the family-based utilities. Future strategic plans aimed at growth and sustainability of family firms can derive important clues from the findings of this study and design actionable goals that leverage those dimensions of socioemotional wealth that have a positive impact on firm performance.

Social implications

Social implications of ensuring survival of family businesses are significant because of their role as one of the largest sources of employment generation in most societies. Policymakers and regulatory authorities would be able to frame customized initiatives to foster growth and sustainability of family enterprises that have such large impact on the economy.

Originality/value

Theoretical contribution of the study comes from a more nuanced understanding of relationships between the individual dimension of SEW and firm performance, which will delineate a more consistent and predictable link between family-centric goals and firm-level outcomes. From the perspective of practical contribution, this may provide useful guidelines to industry practitioners and policymakers to frame initiatives that enable growth and sustainability of family firms that are typically the largest employment generators in most economies.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2019

Mohammad Rezaur Razzak, Raida Abu Bakar and Norizah Mustamil

The purpose of this paper is to determine the elements of family-centric non-economic goals, such as socioemotional wealth (SEW) of family business owners, that drive…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the elements of family-centric non-economic goals, such as socioemotional wealth (SEW) of family business owners, that drive family commitment. The empirical study further tests whether such relationships are impacted by the aspect of ownership, that is, who controls the firm: founder generation or subsequent generation of owner managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Deploying the SEW and stakeholder theories, this study proposes a conceptual link between soecioemotional wealth dimensions and family commitment. The study is based on a survey of 357 private family firms in Bangladesh involved in manufacturing ready-made garments. The respondents are all in senior-level management positions in their respective firms and are members of the dominant owning family.

Findings

Prior to considering the moderating effect of controlling generation, the results indicate that four out of five FIBER dimensions of SEW affect family commitment, except for binding social ties. The study also finds that when a comparison is made between the founder generation and the subsequent generation of family firm managers, it is the latter that manifests significantly higher levels of family commitment when the focus is on the two FIBER dimensions of SEW: binding social ties and identification of family members with the firm.

Research limitations/implications

Although the cross-sectional nature of the study exposes the study to the specter of common method bias, procedural remedies were initiated to minimize the likelihood. Furthermore, data were collected from a single key informant in each organization. Therefore, both a longitudinal study and corroborating data from more than one individual in each firm would possibly provide a more robust picture.

Practical implications

Key decision makers from within the family who wish to see their subsequent generation remain engaged and committed to the family firm may find cues from the fact that focusing on binding social ties and identification of family members with the firm play an important role in ensuring continued commitment to the business by their successors.

Social implications

Family businesses are recognized to be vital contributors to most societies around the globe, both as employment generators as well as catalysts of economic activities. Hence, policy makers may derive pertinent information from the study in adopting policies to nurture and ensure survival and continuity of family-owned businesses, by understanding how family-centric non-economic goals impact family’s desire to commit resources, time and effort to the enterprise from generation to generation.

Originality/value

Determining the factors that drive continued engagement and commitment of family members to the business enterprise is a phenomenon that needs to be better understood in order to ensure continuity and survival of family enterprises across generations. This study attempts to provide a more nuanced understanding of how different components of family-centric goals, such as SEW, impact family commitment. The study contributes to theory building by providing a conceptual link that demonstrates the components of SEW that are most pertinent in terms of ensuring higher levels of family commitment to the family-owned business.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Mohammad Rezaur Razzak and Suaad Jassem

Although family business literature acknowledges that family firms owners are motivated by a set of socioemotional wealth (SEW) goals along with firm-centric business goals

Abstract

Purpose

Although family business literature acknowledges that family firms owners are motivated by a set of socioemotional wealth (SEW) goals along with firm-centric business goals, yet a consistently predictable pattern of relationship between SEW and financial wealth is yet to be discerned. The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical model based on the stakeholder approach to suggest that family commitment mediates the association between the dimensions of SEW and firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of hypotheses are proposed that are tested using structural equation modeling with data collected from 357 medium to large sized privately held family firms in Bangladesh. The data analysis is done with SmartPLS (v.3.2).

Findings

The results indicate that family commitment partially mediates the relationships between family control and influence, family identification, emotional attachment and renewal of family bonds through dynastic succession and firm performance. The only non-significant relationship was between binding social ties and firm performance. The results provide a more nuanced understanding of the link between SEW goals and firm performance, and present important implications for theory and practice.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional nature of the study exposes it to the specter of common method bias despite the fact that procedural remedies were initiated to minimize the impact of such occurrence. A longitudinal study with data obtained from multiple individuals at different levels of the organization would possibly yield more robust findings. Furthermore, in the absence of a multi-country and multi-sector analysis, a broad generalization of the findings may not be feasible.

Practical implications

The knowledge that family identity, emotional attachment and renewal of family bonds through dynastic succession may be leveraged to enhance the commitment of subsequent generation of family firm owners to the firm that may be pertinent to incumbents who desire to see their successors more engaged in the family enterprise. Furthermore, knowing that excessive focus on family control over the firm leads to negative outcomes is also pertinent to family firm leaders.

Social implications

Survival of family businesses is vital to the global economy as one of the primary drivers of global GDP growth and source of new employment. Policy makers can benefit from the findings of this study to customize policies that take into cognizance the importance of SEW owners of family firms and the fact that some of these SEW goals actually benefit the firm in terms of enhanced commitment to the enterprise and consequently superior firm performance.

Originality/value

The role of family commitment as a mediator between SEW and firm performance has not been dominant in the literature. By providing a finer-grained understanding of how family commitment accounts for the relationship between family-centric non-economic goals such as SEW and firm-centric goals such as business performance, the study presents a theoretical link between sociomemotional wealth and financial wealth in the context of private family firms.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

James J. Chrisman and Daniel T. Holt

The purpose of this paper is to explain how the concept of socioemotional wealth can be combined with other important concepts in the family firm literature to develop a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how the concept of socioemotional wealth can be combined with other important concepts in the family firm literature to develop a theory of the family firm.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper based on a review of the paper of Martin and Gómez-Mejía in this issue as well as the family business literature in general.

Findings

Martin and Gómez-Mejía (this issue) present a theoretical model and propositions on the relationship between socioemotional and financial wealth that advances understanding of family firm decision-making. That paper provides an initial step toward a theory of the family firm that can explain why firms select the family form of organization to conduct economic activities, what determines their scale and scope and why heterogeneity is observed among family firms. This commentary takes another step toward such a theory by discussing how the combined consideration of goals, governance and resources could be used to address the above three questions.

Originality/value

The precepts of a new theory of the family firm is presented that incorporates the concepts of goals (socioemotional wealth), governance (family ownership and control) and resources (familiness) of family firms to explain why family firms exist and potentially thrive as well as to explain the heterogeneity among family firms.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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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: 3 June 2020

Lucia Garcés-Galdeano and Carmen García-Olaverri

Our paper seeks to further understand how family involvement in management influences firm growth.

Abstract

Purpose

Our paper seeks to further understand how family involvement in management influences firm growth.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of small high-tech firms, we classify three different types of firms: family firms managed by family-CEOs, family firms managed by non-family CEOs and non-family firms.

Findings

Consistent with our expectations, we show that firms managed by family-CEOs have less firm growth in comparison with the other two groups. When the family firm is managed by non-family CEOs, the presence of another family member in management positions has a negative impact on firm growth. Finally, we found that founder-led family firms have better firm growth than descendant-led family firms.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for the theory of family firms are discussed.

Originality/value

The value of the present study is to analyse in depth the heterogeneity of the family business trying to close the gap by exploring the effect of family involvement on small firm growth. Thus, we will find different behaviours of these family companies, depending on the family member’s presence in management positions.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2021

Emma Su and Joshua Daspit

The literature related to knowledge management (KM) is robust with respect to insights regarding firms in general. However, less is known about the KM of family firms…

Abstract

Purpose

The literature related to knowledge management (KM) is robust with respect to insights regarding firms in general. However, less is known about the KM of family firms despite these firms being the most common form of business organization worldwide. Further, even though the number of studies examining family-firm KM has increased in recent years, the insights gained remain fragmented. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to help coalesce and advance the study of family-firm KM.

Design/methodology/approach

In pursuit of these goals, a systematic literature review was conducted. Using a 6-step, systematic literature review protocol, 74 articles focused on family-firm KM published in 23 journals were identified and reviewed.

Findings

This literature review contributes to the synthesis and advancement of family-firm KM scholarship in several ways. First, key factors and relationships are identified and integrated into a robust framework. Second, scholarly insights are synthesized, and a review of the primary antecedents, outcomes and moderating factors associated with family-firm KM processes is presented. Third, promising opportunities for future research are highlighted to advance family-firm KM scholarship.

Originality/value

With a focus on reducing the fragmentation in the literature, this review synthesizes insights related to the most commonly studied antecedents, outcomes and moderators associated with family-firm KM. Additionally, antecedents are organized and reviewed according to the nature of their influence on family-firm KM processes, highlighting the simultaneous opposite effects of some influences. Further, key outcomes are synthesized based on their family versus firm-centric orientation. Even further, insights and opportunities focused on advancing the theory, antecedents, outcomes, moderators and other issues related to family-firm KM are presented in an effort to support the continued progress of scholarship in this area.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Mohammad Rezaur Razzak, Suaad Jassem, Alima Akter and Syed Abdulla Al Mamun

The purpose of this research is to examine the interplay between family commitment as a family-centric resource and professionalization of the organization as a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the interplay between family commitment as a family-centric resource and professionalization of the organization as a firm-centric resource to determine how the two phenomenon come together to enhance business performance in the context of privately held family firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Deploying the theoretical lens offered by the resource-based view, a conceptual link is developed between family commitment to the firm and firm performance with the potential moderating influence of firm professionalization. The hypotheses are tested using data collected from 357 privately held medium-to-large family-owned manufacturing companies in Bangladesh. The data are analyzed through structural equation modeling using SmartPLS (v.3.2).

Findings

The data analysis suggests that in absence of the moderator; professionalization, family commitment has a positive and significant association with firm performance. While in the presence of the moderator the above relationship is substantially stronger. The findings indicate that when family-specific resources and firm-specific resources are synchronized, it enhances performance of the family firm and puts it on a strong economic footing toward a more sustainable future.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional nature of the study exposes it to the specter of common method bias despite the fact that procedural remedies were initiated to minimize the impact of such occurrence. Furthermore, data were collected from a single individual in each organization. Therefore, a longitudinal study with data obtained from multiple individuals at different levels of the organization would possibly yield more robust findings.

Practical implications

Leaders of family firms may find pertinent clues from the outcome of this study. Particularly, the confluence of family commitment to the firm as a family-specific resource and professionalization as a firm-specific resource can be valuable, rare, difficult to imitate and substitute source of competitive advantage for the family business organization.

Social implications

Survival of family businesses is vital to the global economy as one of the primary drivers of global gross domestic product growth and source of new employment. Policymakers can benefit from the findings of this study to customize policies to nurture growth of family enterprises and incentivize family firms to adopt professionalization through better governance and transparent managerial procedures.

Originality/value

A nuanced understanding of how family commitment and firm professionalization combine to significantly improve performance of family firms has not been dominant in the literature. Therefore, findings of this study carry special theoretical implications, because it suggests that both family-specific features and firm-specific features are necessary for enhanced levels of firm-centric business outcomes such as economic performance.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2018

Na Shen

The purpose of this paper is to enhance the existing socioemotional wealth (SEW) theory. Particularly, the current research proposes a dynamic SEW model using insights…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enhance the existing socioemotional wealth (SEW) theory. Particularly, the current research proposes a dynamic SEW model using insights from prospect theory. The application of the proposed dynamic SEW model leads to several propositions that will reveal the relationship amongst family business, transgenerational succession, business risks and diversification strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is mainly a theoretical research. A dynamic SEW model is proposed in which the SEW is not static and can be increasing or decreasing. SEW is framed as a gain or loss under different scenarios, and the shift in reference point will change the framing or value of SEW.

Findings

The current research presents several interesting propositions based on the dynamic SEW model. Generally, family firms are less likely to diversify than non-family firms. However, when family firms face business risks, they are more likely to diversify than those that do not face business risks. Family firms with second generation involvement in management are more likely to diversify than those without second generation involvement. The dynamic SEW model can also be applied to analyse R&D and IPO underpricing for family firms.

Originality/value

This study builds a dynamic SEW model, which is totally new to the literature. The conceptual framework that reveals the relationships amongst family business, transgenerational succession, business risks and diversification strategy also contributes to the literature and has empirical implications to researchers, policy makers and family business owners.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Suveera Gill

There is a growing consensus that entrepreneurial activity is essentially a collective family endeavour, with some configuration of family involvement in business (FIB…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a growing consensus that entrepreneurial activity is essentially a collective family endeavour, with some configuration of family involvement in business (FIB) working better than others. This paper aims to examine the effects of FIB on strategy and financial performance (FP), drawing from the institutional theory for the Indian family businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample comprises of 105 pharmaceutical companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange for FY2013–2017. A two-way random effects panel model was invoked to examine the relationship between FIB and strategy, as well as the intermediating effect that strategy has on the FIB-FP link.

Findings

On average, the family has a high ownership concentration, with the founders predominantly holding the chief executive officer (CEO) and chair positions. The econometric results highlight that the founder’s descendants adopt a conservative strategy. A significant positive moderating effect of strategy on FIB-FP link was observed for the descendants as the largest owners, CEO and board chair. The presence of a professional CEO and independent chair, however, leads to an intervening adverse impact on FP. The ownership-management-governance configurations highlight that some combinations of family and non-FIB leads to better performance than others.

Originality/value

The study provides a plausible explanation for the conflicting evidence on the direct FIB-FP relationship through the strategy intermediation. The institutional perspective emphasizing the identity and role family members play in terms of strategy provides an unconventional epistemological underpinning to the present research.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

Keywords

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