Family businesses are more likely than non-family businesses to respond to pressures from the institutional context, such as rules, norms and public or regulatory pressures, by being particularly careful about maintaining their corporate reputation and preserving the family name. Furthermore, corporate reputation is an important intangible asset for family firms, giving them competitive advantage in their industries. However, the family business literature has considered the corporate reputation construct as being unidimensional. By drawing on corporate reputation literature, the aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the relationship between a key antecedent of corporate reputation, firm financial performance, and the two dimensions of corporate reputation: favourability and prominence. By distinguishing between the two dimensions, this study of large public family firms indicates that financial performance is positively associated with both dimensions, whilst also finding a negative relationship between favourability and prominence. Overall the findings point towards a contractual perspective of corporate reputation in family firms, with reputation accounting for firms’ past behaviour and performance, allowing these businesses to continue accumulating and managing resources to sustain their competitive advantage.
Guido Corbetta and Alexandra Dawson
Maria José Parada and Alexandra Dawson
Alexandra Dawson and Giovanni Valentini
Alexandra Dawson, Maria José Parada Balderrama and Alberto Gimeno Sandig
The aim of this chapter is to illustrate the value of narratives both as a means through which family business identity is created and as a research methodology that allows us to uncover individual and family-level processes in family businesses. The authors present a unique case of a family business that has combined innovation and internationalization strategies in a fiercely competitive industry, creating a dynamic virtuous circle that has allowed the business to grow quickly and become successful. Through narrative analysis of the case study, they illustrate how the organization’s collective identity has been shaped by internal factors (low family goal diversity and high family cohesion) and external factors (presence of non-family members on the advisory board and presence of international networks). The authors find that the idiosyncratic combination of these factors has contributed to creating a unique family business identity that has spurred the organization along its growth trajectory through innovation and internationalization.