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Re-framing the status of narrative in family business research: Towards an understanding of families in business

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  • Hamilton, Eleanor
  • Discua Cruz, Allan
  • Jack, Sarah

Abstract

This article will emphasize the status and relevance of narrative research in the study of families in business and family business strategy. It argues that narratives can provide a better understanding of the intricate connections between family and business and across family generations in business. Narratives generate knowledge by helping to shape a collective identity and as a form of intergenerational communication. By focusing on narratives as a phenomenological inquiry, we argue that interviews allow researchers to engage often in emotionally charged and intimate conversations with individuals that want to talk about experiences as members of a family business. This paper will discuss the usefulness of narrative approaches for family business strategy research, develop a catalogue of research questions for exploration, highlight challenges and offer solutions to deal with them when using narrative methods in family business research. This paper argues that while several challenges may be encountered, narratives allow researchers to delve into the intricate lives of members of a family in business.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamilton, Eleanor & Discua Cruz, Allan & Jack, Sarah, 2017. "Re-framing the status of narrative in family business research: Towards an understanding of families in business," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:8:y:2017:i:1:p:3-12
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfbs.2016.11.001
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    2. Mussolino, Donata & Cicellin, Mariavittoria & Pezzillo Iacono, Mario & Consiglio, Stefano & Martinez, Marcello, 2019. "Daughters’ self-positioning in family business succession: A narrative inquiry," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 72-86.
    3. Tariq H. Malik, 2019. "Founder’s Apprehension in Small Family Business Succession in Thailand: Interpretative View of the Situational Distance," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(4), pages 21582440198, October.
    4. Elsbach, Kimberly D. & Pieper, Torsten M., 2019. "How psychological needs motivate family firm identifications and identifiers: A framework and future research agenda," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 1-1.
    5. Aldrich, Howard E. & Brumana, Mara & Campopiano, Giovanna & Minola, Tommaso, 2021. "Embedded but not asleep: Entrepreneurship and family business research in the 21st century," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1).
    6. Natalia Vershinina & Allan Discua Cruz, 2021. "Researching migrant entrepreneurship communities: a reflection through collaborative (auto)ethnographies," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 507-526, June.
    7. Rondi, Emanuela & De Massis, Alfredo & Kotlar, Josip, 2019. "Unlocking innovation potential: A typology of family business innovation postures and the critical role of the family system," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4).
    8. Binz Astrachan, Claudia & Astrachan, Joseph H. & Kotlar, Josip & Michiels, Anneleen, 2021. "Addressing the theory-practice divide in family business research: The case of shareholder agreements," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1).
    9. Spielmann, Nathalie & Discua Cruz, Allan & Tyler, Beverly B. & Beukel, Karin, 2021. "Place as a nexus for corporate heritage identity: An international study of family-owned wineries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 826-837.
    10. Schell, Sabrina & de Groote, Julia K. & Moog, Petra & Hack, Andreas, 2020. "Successor selection in family business—A signaling game," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3).

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