Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein
Chapter 7: Business Family as a Team: Underlying Force for Sustained Competitive Advantage
Lorraine M. Uhlaner Introduction One of the challenges in past research on family owned and managed ﬁrms has been to identify the family characteristics that matter, in prediction of ﬁrm strategies and business performance. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce a new concept, that of business family, and to identify aspects of the business family likely to impact business strategy and performance. The proposed framework draws on a wide range of research from diﬀerent social science and business disciplines. The basic premise is that business families can be viewed as a speciﬁc type of team. Similar to teams more generally, the eﬀective business family shares values and norms, has clear roles and procedures, and is able to resolve conﬂicts eﬀectively among its members. A model and propositions are generated that relate diﬀerent aspects of the business family, including business family cohesiveness, performance norms and characteristics of business family eﬀectiveness, with business performance. For the purpose of this chapter, the Dynamic System Planning (DSP) Model, a general systems theory based model of organization eﬀectiveness, is used to identify diﬀerent dimensions of business performance. Also important in the development of the framework are the notions of family orientation and business orientation, viewed in this chapter as two types of business family performance norms. The ﬁrst section of this chapter presents background from the existing literature, including deﬁnitions of key terms such as the family, family business, business family, teams and...
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