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Matthias Waldkirch

Social identity theory has given one of the most compelling answers to the question ‘who am I’ by linking identity to membership in social groups. After its adoption to organisational studies, where it has been used to understand, explain and forecast group behaviour, social identity theory has recently been adapted to family business research. After shortly briefly introducing social identity theory and its development, the chapter reviews how the theory has been used in family business research. As social identity theory in family business research has not been used to its fullest potential, the chapter then outlines several ways through which new insights into issues such as succession, non-family management and ownership could be created. In the conclusion, the chapter suggests a possible methodology for capturing social identity processes and proposes how family business research could offer new insights into social identity. Keywords: social identity, identity boundaries, prototyping, self-categorizsation, non-family management, ownership

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Matthias Waldkirch

Interpersonal relationships represent a core element of the fabric of organizations, since they provide meaning for individuals and structure work. Especially in family firms, interpersonal relationships can have long-lasting implications for individuals and the organization. Studying those relationships thus gives new and revealing insights into the family firm. The purpose of this chapter is to provide qualitative approaches through which to understand, conceptualize and investigate workplace relationships in family firms. Drawing from the broader streams of organizations studies, organizational behavior and human relations, the chapter shows how researchers can: (1) create and analyze narratives of relationships; (2) illuminate and investigate patters formed by workplace relationships; and (3) investigate the meaning of workplace relationships. To illustrate these three points, the chapter relies on empirical material from a longitudinal single case study.

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Mattias Nordqvist, Leif Melin, Matthias Waldkirch and Gershon Kumeto

As the field of family business has grown immensely over the last couple of decades, a multitude of theories from different fields has been introduced. However, there are surprisingly few attempts to provide an overview of theories that may be of particular interest for the family business scholar. Thus, this introduction chapter gives a critical overview of theoretical perspectives, before taking a closer look at the use of theories in family business studies. Regarding the current state of the family business field, the authors argue for putting more effort in building theory from family business research as well as a stronger emphasis on ‘giving back’ to theories borrowed from other fields. Lastly, the chapter describes the development of the book and introduces the 13 chapters and their contributions.