Table of Contents

Firms within Families

Firms within Families

Enterprising in Diverse Country Contexts

Edited by Jennifer E. Jennings, Kimberly A. Eddleston, P. Devereaux Jennings and Ravi Sarathy

Firms within Families: Enterprising in Diverse Country Contexts investigates this ‘double embeddedness’ of business ownership and management through two illuminating sets of empirical studies. Part I focuses upon the family-oriented goal of socio-emotional wealth and its association with a firm’s strategic orientations, strategies and performance. Part II examines strategies and experiences at the work–family interface and their implications for an owner-manager’s psychological well-being. Both parts feature diverse studies from the United States, Switzerland/Germany, China, Brazil, and India.

Chapter 7: Part I summary: the impact of SEW on family and non-family firms in developed versus emerging economies

P. Devereaux Jennings, Ravi Sarathy, Kimberly A. Eddleston and Jennifer E. Jennings

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, strategic management


The effect of business strategy on firm performance is generally considered to be determined by a firm’s changing environment, industry rivalry, and a firm’s unique resources and capabilities, with strategy seeking to position a firm within its competitive environment in a manner that leads to superior performance and sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, 1991; Porter 2008). When the firm in question is family owned-and-managed, however, additional goals and operating principles become salient (Salvato and Corbetta, 2014). Along with competitive advantage, family firms care about family centered, non-economic goals such as wealth preservation, family reputation, maintaining influence within the community, and developing a legacy for the next generation (Chrisman, Chua, and Litz, 2004; Chua, Chrisman, and Sharma, 1999; Miller and Le Breton-Miller, 2005). Part I of this book has focused on this ‘familiness’ of owner-managed businesses using the well-known, currently popular concept of socio-emotional wealth (SEW), where SEW refers to ‘non-financial aspects of the firm that meet the family’s affective needs, such as identity, the ability to exercise family influence, and the perpetuation of the family dynasty’ (Gómez-Mejía, Haynes, Núñez-Nickel, Jacobson, and Moyano-Fuentes, 2007: 106; see also Berrone, Cruz, and Gómez-Mejía, 2012). Measuring Berrone et al.’s (2012) proposed FIBER dimensions of SEW (in other words, family control, identification, bonds, emotion, and renewal), each country team was able to assess the separate and joint effects of these five dimensions on business orientations, business strategy, and, ultimately, business performance.

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