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Exploring value differences across family firms: The influence of choosing and managing complexity

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  • Simon, Alexandra
  • Marquès, Pilar
  • Bikfalvi, Andrea
  • Dolors Muñoz, M.
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    Abstract

    Stewardship is considered a distinctive feature of family firms, and it is associated with a set of values, including altruism, collectivism, trust, identification, loyalty and commitment. However, the extent to which these values actually prevail in different types of family firms has not often been explored, especially in relation to the types of complexity found in family firms. In this study, we address this gap in the literature and explore the existence of potential differences among family firms. Additionally, we investigate the possible reasons for these differences with regard to the levels of management complexity in the family firms and the processes related to such complexity, such as succession, pruning and complexity management options. We use a multiple case-study methodology involving 22 long-established family firms in northeast Spain. Based on the empirical results from our dynamic and multidimensional approach, this article primarily contributes to the existing literature by providing a conceptual model of the influence complexity has on values in family firms.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Family Business Strategy.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 132-146

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:3:y:2012:i:3:p:132-146

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/719791/description#description

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    Related research

    Keywords: Values; Complexity; Family management; Stewardship; Succession; Pruning;

    References

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    1. Miller, Danny & Steier, Lloyd & Le Breton-Miller, Isabelle, 2003. "Lost in time: intergenerational succession, change, and failure in family business," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 513-531, July.
    2. Steier, Lloyd P. & Miller, Danny, 2010. "Pre- and post-succession governance philosophies in entrepreneurial family firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 145-154, September.
    3. Jean-Luc Arregle & Michael A. Hitt & David G. Sirmon & Philippe Very, 2007. "The Development of Organizational Social Capital: Attributes of Family Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 73-95, 01.
    4. Harvey James, 1999. "Owner as Manager, Extended Horizons and the Family Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 41-55.
    5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    6. Chrisman, James J. & Chua, Jess H. & Kellermanns, Franz W. & Chang, Erick P.C., 2007. "Are family managers agents or stewards? An exploratory study in privately held family firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 1030-1038, October.
    7. Manuel Vallejo, 2008. "Is the Culture of Family Firms Really Different? A Value-based Model for Its Survival through Generations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 81(2), pages 261-279, August.
    8. Eddleston, Kimberly A. & Kellermanns, Franz W., 2007. "Destructive and productive family relationships: A stewardship theory perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 545-565, July.
    9. Ireland, R. Duane & Hirc, Michael A., 1992. "Mission statements: Importance, challenge, and recommendations for development," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 34-42.
    10. Danny Miller & Isabelle Le Breton-Miller & Barry Scholnick, 2008. "Stewardship vs. Stagnation: An Empirical Comparison of Small Family and Non-Family Businesses," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 51-78, 01.
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