Family Firms and Institutional Contexts
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Family Firms and Institutional Contexts

Business Models, Innovation and Competitive Advantage

Edited by Giorgia M. D’Allura, Andrea Colli and Sanjay Goel

Featuring in-depth analysis of original research, this innovative book takes an interdisciplinary, cross-national approach to the study of family firms as institutions as well as the relationship between family firms and external institutions. It demonstrates the impact of these interactions both on the firms and institutions themselves and in the wider economic context, and provides important conceptual insights as well as ideas for future research agendas.
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Chapter 14: Exploring the intersection of e-commerce and context in family business in China: the effects on organisational form and identity

Donella Caspersz, Yong Wang, Salvatore Tomaselli and Rong Pei


The aim of this chapter is to describe a qualitative study of how e-commerce affects the organisational form and identity of family business in China. This is by integrating a narrative about the development of family business and e-commerce in China with an exploratory analysis of e-commerce adoption by two Chinese family businesses. Institutional theory frames this discussion. Using an inductive methodology, the study suggests that the cases of family businesses that adopt an e-commerce strategy in China illustrate the tensions family businesses face in an emerging economy. These include not only the imperative to manage the challenges stemming from the institutional context, but also those that emerge from within the family business, most notably the generational differences.

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