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Organisational Harmony as a Value in Family Businesses and Its Influence on Performance


  • M. Ruiz Jiménez


  • Manuel Vallejo Martos


  • Rocío Martínez Jiménez



The aims of this research were twofold: first, to compare the levels of organisational harmony between family and non-family firms and, second, to study the influence of organisational harmony on family firms’ performance (profitability, longevity and group cohesion). Starting from a definition of organisational harmony as a value and considering the importance of the management of organisational values, we use the main topics indicated by the general literature (organisational climate, trust and participation) to analyse organisational harmony, as well as three other topics for performance (profitability, survival and group cohesion). Results indicate that family firms have higher levels of these three qualities than non-family firms, and that the levels of trust, participation and organisational climate have a positive and significant influence on the performance of family firms. These results can be understood as a consequence of the influence of family social capital on organisational social capital and so on the performance of family businesses. From the perspective of institutionalism, the higher levels of harmony existing in family businesses are a reflection of the pressures that the owning family as an institution exercises on the organisational social capital in its companies. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • M. Ruiz Jiménez & Manuel Vallejo Martos & Rocío Martínez Jiménez, 2015. "Organisational Harmony as a Value in Family Businesses and Its Influence on Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 259-272, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:126:y:2015:i:2:p:259-272
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1941-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lei Wang & Heikki Juslin, 2009. "The Impact of Chinese Culture on Corporate Social Responsibility: The Harmony Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 433-451, October.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Mojca Duh & Jernej Belak & Borut Milfelner, 2010. "Core Values, Culture and Ethical Climate as Constitutional Elements of Ethical Behaviour: Exploring Differences Between Family and Non-Family Enterprises," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 473-489, December.
    5. Simon Ho & Raymond Chan, 2009. "Social Harmony in Hong Kong: Level, Determinants and Policy Implications," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 37-58, March.
    6. Miller, Danny & Le Breton-Miller, Isabelle & Lester, Richard H. & Cannella Jr., Albert A., 2007. "Are family firms really superior performers?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 829-858, December.
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