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Cultural divergence in merging family businesses


  • Bjursell, Cecilia


Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is one of the strategic options available for business growth, and there is an increased research interest in the topic and its relevance to family firms. In this article, post-merger integration is discussed by looking at ownership, family and management as three separate value systems at work in the process. The interplay between these aspects influences what people perceive as organizational culture in terms of norms and values in a specific setting. The paper builds on a field study of two family businesses in a Nordic setting, including over 200 interviews and 40Â h of video. The paper contributes to the emerging knowledge about M&A in family business. Furthermore, it contributes to the field of M&A by highlighting that ownership could be included as an aspect in cultural studies to better understand post-merger integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjursell, Cecilia, 2011. "Cultural divergence in merging family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 69-77, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:2:y:2011:i:2:p:69-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chrisman, James J. & Sharma, Pramodita & Taggar, Simon, 2007. "Family influences on firms: An introduction," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 1005-1011, October.
    2. Walid Ben-Amar & Paul André, 2006. "Separation of Ownership from Control and Acquiring Firm Performance: The Case of Family Ownership in Canada," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3-4), pages 517-543.
    3. Jaskiewicz, P. & González, V. M. & Menéndez, S. & Schiereck, D., 2005. "Long-run IPO Performance Analysis of German and Spanish Family-Owned Business," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 35079, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    4. Ducassy, Isabelle & Prevot, Frédéric, 2010. "The effects of family dynamics on diversification strategy: Empirical evidence from French companies," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 224-235, December.
    5. Memili, Esra & Eddleston, Kimberly A. & Kellermanns, Franz W. & Zellweger, Thomas M. & Barnett, Tim, 2010. "The critical path to family firm success through entrepreneurial risk taking and image," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 200-209, December.
    6. Astrachan, Joseph H., 2010. "Strategy in family business: Toward a multidimensional research agenda," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 6-14, March.
    7. Lubatkin, Michael H. & Durand, Rodolphe & Ling, Yan, 2007. "The missing lens in family firm governance theory: A self-other typology of parental altruism," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 1022-1029, October.
    8. Michael Hitchcock & Simone Wesner, 2009. "Vietnamese values, networks and family businesses in London," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 265-282, April.
    9. Abdellatif, Mahamat & Amann, Bruno & Jaussaud, Jacques, 2010. "Family versus nonfamily business: A comparison of international strategies," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 108-116, June.
    10. Eero Vaara, 2003. "Post-acquisition Integration as Sensemaking: Glimpses of Ambiguity, Confusion, Hypocrisy, and Politicization," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 859-894, June.
    11. Carmon, Anna F. & Miller, Amy N. & Raile, Amber N.W. & Roers, Michelle M., 2010. "Fusing family and firm: Employee perceptions of perceived homophily, organizational justice, organizational identification, and organizational commitment in family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 210-223, December.
    12. Luis R. Gomez-Mejia & Marianna Makri & Martin Larraza Kintana, 2010. "Diversification Decisions in Family-Controlled Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 223-252, March.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Meier, Olivier & Schier, Guillaume, 2014. "Family firm succession: Lessons from failures in external party takeovers," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 372-383.
    3. Reddy, Kotapati Srinivasa, 2015. "The State of Case Study Research in Mergers & Acquisitions: A Review of the Literature in Different Management Streams," MPRA Paper 63939, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    4. Grundström, Christina & Öberg, Christina & Öhrwall Rönnbäck, Anna, 2012. "Family-owned manufacturing SMEs and innovativeness: A comparison between within-family successions and external takeovers," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 162-173.


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