Family business or business family? Organizational identity elasticity and strategic responses to disruptive innovation

Jasper Brinkerink*, Emanuela Rondi, Carlotta Benedetti, Unai Arzubiaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Organizational identity represents a characterizing aspect of family firms with the potential to drive their heterogeneity and decision making. While the intertwined relationship between organizational identity and strategy is increasingly receiving attention from scholars in general management, research in the family firm field has yet to tackle it. Building on the construct of organizational identity elasticity, we conceptually examine how heterogeneity of family firms’ organizational identities influences, and is affected by, strategic decisions. We ground our conceptual investigation in the ideal context of disruptive innovation, a technology shift that might eventually threaten the traditional solution of an incumbent family firm. Thus, our study contributes by unveiling the multifaceted and dynamic nature of organizational identity in relation to family firm strategy and develops a novel perspective on typologies in family firms by identifying the theoretical underpinnings of the distinction between family business and business family archetypes. In addition, we advance the emerging debate on family firms’ interaction with exogenous technological changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100360
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Business Strategy
Volume11
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • business families
  • disruptive innovation
  • organizational identity
  • strategic adaptation

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