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