A Role and Identity Based Perspective
Chapter 5: Individuation and Belonging in the Multigenerational Family Business: A Role (Transition) Perspective
As discussed in chapter 3, the distinguishing characteristic of family businesses is the integration of family and business. Understanding the family business means understanding that the actions of (some of the) key members of the business are, at the same time, actions of members of an ownerfamily. Assisted by illustrations from the Indiska case and building on the understanding of family provided by chapter 2, this chapter discusses how business roles constitute a means of individuation for family member employees, contributing to the fulﬁlment of individuation, that is, a separate identity. This makes expressive rationality into one important rationality account of crucial importance for the understanding of family business dynamics. In addition the chapter elaborates on the business as a source of community, an extension of the family, expressed as concern for the family and its core values. Because of this, relational rationality is a further essential rationality to be taken into account for a more holistic understanding of family ﬁrms. 99 HALL 9781845428303 PRINT.indd 99 12/06/2012 15:19 100 Family business dynamics Individuation in the family business Starting the discussion about the family business as a context for individuation and belonging, it is useful to recall the Indiska case, as it illustrates how founding, running and developing a business can be understood as means for individuals to express themselves (their competencies, values, and ideas), to prove their capacity, and the viability of their personal way of thinking to themselves and others; in short for individuation. From this point...
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