Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments

Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments

Opportunities and Resources in Latin America

Edited by Mattias Nordqvist, Giuseppe Marzano, Esteban R. Brenes, Gonzalo Jiménez and Maria Fonseca-Paredes

Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments, the third volume in the STEP series, is uniquely centered on familial entrepreneurial activity in Latin America. The contributions, based on empirical evidence and an overall theoretical framework, focus on practical learning in addition to the advancement of scholarly knowledge.

Chapter 10: When the New Employee is Not Just Another Newcomer: Communication During the Entrance of New Generations into the Family Business

Juan O. Rivera-Algarín

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business


10. When the new employee is not just another newcomer: communication during the entrance of new generations into the family business Juan O. Rivera-Algarín INTRODUCTION This chapter is about the study of organizational communication within family firms. It has two main objectives: the first is to call attention to the need to apply theories and empirical findings generated within the communication field specifically to communication phenomena within family business. As noted in the literature review, in their discussions about communication within family business, scholars of family business have virtually overlooked the abundant theoretical frameworks generated by communication scholars and researchers. To accomplish this first goal, I will select a group of organizational communication theories used to explain newcomers’ communication behaviors during the period surrounding their arrival into a new organization. These theories will help to illustrate their own applicability in understanding, from a communication standpoint, a key process for family firms: the entry of new family members into the family business. The second objective of this chapter is to advance the idea that family businesses, as communicative environments which impose various particularities, deserve discriminating attention from organizational communication scholars. In this regard, the review of the literature makes clear that organizational communication scholars have not yet seen the family business as a unique context for communicative activity and focused exploration. Though the general findings of traditional research on newcomer communication during organizational arrival are partially applicable to family members entering the family business, I contend that many of the...

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