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Strategic fit within family firms: The role of family influence and the effect on performance

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  • Lindow, Corinna M.
  • Stubner, Stephan
  • Wulf, Torsten

Abstract

Research on family firms has proliferated in recent years. However, despite recurring scholarly calls, still little research is looking at the strategic management of family firms. In particular, the implications of strategic fit on the performance of family firms have been largely neglected thus far. Initially proposed for non-family firms, the concept of strategic fit states that an alignment between a firm's strategy and structure results in superior performance. However, it has been frequently argued that family firms differ in terms of their strategic behavior, mainly as a result of the influence of the family on the firm. This paper addresses the question of whether strategic fit contributes to improving performance in family firms and what role family influence plays. Drawing on the prominent fit-typology proposed to strategy research by Miles and Snow (1978), we revisit the traditional notions of strategic fit by considering the impact of family influence on the firm. Building on a sample of 171 German family firms, our results indicate that family influence plays an important role for the achievement of strategic fit and, in turn, for the achievement of superior performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindow, Corinna M. & Stubner, Stephan & Wulf, Torsten, 2010. "Strategic fit within family firms: The role of family influence and the effect on performance," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 167-178, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:1:y:2010:i:3:p:167-178
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bee, Colleen & Neubaum, Donald O., 2014. "The role of cognitive appraisal and emotions of family members in the family business system," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 323-333.
    2. repec:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11365-017-0443-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hiebl, Martin R.W., 2013. "Bean counter or strategist? Differences in the role of the CFO in family and non-family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 147-161.
    4. Backman, Mikaela & Palmberg, Johanna, 2015. "Contextualizing small family firms: How does the urban–rural context affect firm employment growth?," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 247-258.
    5. Garcia-Castro, Roberto & Aguilera, Ruth V., 2014. "Family involvement in business and financial performance: A set-theoretic cross-national inquiry," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 85-96.
    6. Block, Joern H. & Jaskiewicz, Peter & Miller, Danny, 2011. "Ownership versus management effects on performance in family and founder companies: A Bayesian reconciliation," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 232-245.
    7. Basco, Rodrigo & Pérez Rodríguez, María José, 2011. "Ideal types of family business management: Horizontal fit between family and business decisions and the relationship with family business performance," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 151-165.
    8. Weismeier-Sammer, Daniela, 2011. "Entrepreneurial behavior in family firms: A replication study," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 128-138.
    9. Basco, Rodrigo, 2013. "The family's effect on family firm performance: A model testing the demographic and essence approaches," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 42-66.
    10. 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, pages 54-65.
    11. Bjursell, Cecilia, 2011. "Cultural divergence in merging family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 69-77, June.
    12. San Martin-Reyna, J.M. & Duran-Encalada, Jorge A., 2012. "The relationship among family business, corporate governance and firm performance: Evidence from the Mexican stock exchange," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 106-117.
    13. Barros, Ismael & Hernangómez, Juan & Martin-Cruz, Natalia, 2016. "A theoretical model of strategic management of family firms. A dynamic capabilities approach," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 149-159.
    14. Ágnes Bogáth, 2015. "Family Businesses and the Strategic Opportunities," Volume of Management, Enterprise and Benchmarking in the 21st century II, Óbuda University, Keleti Faculty of Business and Management.
    15. Mazzi, Chiara, 2011. "Family business and financial performance: Current state of knowledge and future research challenges," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 166-181.
    16. Craig, Justin B. & Dibrell, Clay & Garrett, Robert, 2014. "Examining relationships among family influence, family culture, flexible planning systems, innovativeness and firm performance," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 229-238.

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