Edited by Giovanni Battista Dagnino
Chapter 16: Family Business and Competitive Strategy Research
1 Giorgia M. D’Allura and Alessandro Minichilli INTRODUCTION The global competitive game requires firms to explicitly develop or implicitly adopt and pursue competitive strategies. Such strategies rely on core competencies, resources, and other capabilities held by the firm in order to effectively compete in the global markets and to achieve the firm’s ultimate goals. Similarly to other firms, family firms need to identify and organize resources in order to build their competitive advantage. Family firms may differ from non-family as the controlling family is likely to have an influence over the strategic management process.2 This influence is the consequence of the converging interests, priorities, values and strategic vision of the family unit into the business. According to family business scholars, differences between family and non-family firms are likely to exist with respect to the set of goals, the way the process is realized, and the actors involved in the process. In addition, the family unit is believed to influence every step of the process (Harris et al., 1994). The influence the family unit exerts on the strategic decision process has often been underestimated in past research and only few studies adopted a comparative approach to explore differences in strategies and policies of family vis-à-vis non-family firms. Despite the lack of comparative studies, the family business literature provides a careful consideration and description of strategic choices in family firms. Scholars in the field have observed that family firms are rich in intangible resources, which have the potential to generate distinctive...
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