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Clarifying the strategic advantage of familiness: Unbundling its dimensions and highlighting its paradoxes


  • Irava, Wayne J.
  • Moores, Ken


Using a resource-based theoretical lens we clarify familiness by identifying the dimensions of this unique family business resource in multigenerational family firms. Using data from four in-depth case studies, we provide evidence that familiness is comprised of human resources (reputation and experience), organisational resources (decision-making and learning), and process resources (relationships and networks). Furthermore, we demonstrate how these resource dimensions are paradoxical in nature in that each influences the family firm in both positive and negative ways. These dimensions and their nature (positive/negative) thus not only help clarify a firm's familiness but also move the construct from a conceptual notion into a more operationalised form.

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  • Irava, Wayne J. & Moores, Ken, 2010. "Clarifying the strategic advantage of familiness: Unbundling its dimensions and highlighting its paradoxes," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 131-144, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:1:y:2010:i:3:p:131-144

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Villalonga, Belen & Amit, Raphael, 2006. "How do family ownership, control and management affect firm value?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 385-417, May.
    2. Zellweger, Thomas M. & Eddleston, Kimberly A. & Kellermanns, Franz W., 2010. "Exploring the concept of familiness: Introducing family firm identity," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 54-63, March.
    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, January.
    4. Habbershon, Timothy G. & Williams, Mary & MacMillan, Ian C., 2003. "A unified systems perspective of family firm performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 451-465, July.
    5. Ronald C. Anderson & David M. Reeb, 2003. "Founding-Family Ownership and Firm Performance: Evidence from the S&P 500," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1301-1327, June.
    6. Nordqvist, Mattias & Melin, Leif, 2010. "The promise of the strategy as practice perspective for family business strategy research," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-25, March.
    7. Leenders, Mark & Waarts, Eric, 2003. "Competitiveness and Evolution of Family Businesses:: The Role of Family and Business Orientation," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 686-697, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Kaserer, Christoph & Kauf, Tobias, 2012. "The dynamics of voting ownership in lone-founder, family-founder, and heir firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 79-96.
    2. Goel, Sanjay & Mazzola, Pietro & Phan, Phillip H. & Pieper, Torsten M. & Zachary, Ramona K., 2012. "Strategy, ownership, governance, and socio-psychological perspectives on family businesses from around the world," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 54-65.
    3. Fletcher, Denise & Massis, Alfredo De & Nordqvist, Mattias, 2016. "Qualitative research practices and family business scholarship: A review and future research agenda," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 8-25.
    4. repec:spr:rvmgts:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11846-016-0216-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. De Massis, Alfredo & Kotlar, Josip, 2014. "The case study method in family business research: Guidelines for qualitative scholarship," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-29.
    6. Boyd, Britta & Hollensen, Svend, 2012. "Strategic management of a family-owned airline: Analysing the absorptive capacity of Cimber Sterling Group A/S," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 70-78.
    7. Paulette Robic & Dominique Barbelivien & Nicolas Antheaume, 2015. "Comment cultiver une ressource ? Outils de gestion et culture du familiness," Working Papers hal-01180952, HAL.
    8. Dawson, Alexandra & Mussolino, Donata, 2014. "Exploring what makes family firms different: Discrete or overlapping constructs in the literature?," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 169-183.


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