Innovation in Small Family Businesses

Innovation in Small Family Businesses

Sylvie Laforet

Innovation in Small Family Businesses explores how innovation is developed and carried out in small family-owned businesses, the factors underpinning it, and the innovation drivers and barriers in these firms’ context. Sylvie Laforet also offers suggestions on how innovation can be fostered and perhaps, sustained in small family-owned businesses and discusses the government’s role in this. The book makes an important contribution to the theoretical development of family firms’ and small businesses’ innovation.

Chapter 3: Characteristics and factors affecting innovation in family firms

Sylvie Laforet

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


This chapter examines the characteristics of innovation in small family firms (SFF), including factors driving innovation, level of innovation in SFF, and impacts of innovation on SFF business financial performance. The chapter also focuses on examining to what extent knowledge acquisition and learning, as well as innovation strategy and family involvement affect innovation in SFF. Social capital theory and social networks will be analysed and discussed. The chapter examines how innovation activity differs in young SFF compared with old SFF, and the implications of innovation in the early stage and later stage of the business. It also explores the issue of sustained innovation in generational firms.

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