Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone
Chapter 8: The Link between Family Orientation,Strategy and Innovation in Dutch SBEs: Lagged Effects
8. The link between family orientation, strategy and innovation in Dutch SMEs: lagged eﬀects Lorraine M. Uhlaner, Sita Tan, Joris Meijaard and Ron Kemp INTRODUCTION In spite of the unmistakable share of family ﬁrms in the economy, our understanding of their strategies, behaviour and performance is still quite limited, as are the diﬀerences between predominantly family owned and managed and other types of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Innovativeness is an important determinant of performance; a review of the literature by Capon et al. (1990) ﬁnds that in over two-thirds of the studies, a positive relationship between production innovation strategy and ﬁrm performance exists, with more recent research conﬁrming this ﬁnding for new technology ventures (Li and Atuahene-Gima, 2001). In turn, strategy has been identiﬁed as one of the cornerstones of innovation (Cooper and Kleinschmidt, 1995). In linking strategy with innovation, scholars can be divided into two perspectives. The ﬁrst perspective embraces those scholars who see strategy-making as a deliberate process in which managers, often aided by consultants, customers and others follow a conscious path of action. The other view is that strategy is an emergent understanding, evolving from the cumulative eﬀect of individual operating decisions taken by management (Mintzberg and Waters, 1985). Either way, the two can be seen as linked. In the deliberate view, new products result from the execution of strategy. From the emergent view, innovation is a tangible manifestation of what the strategy of a ﬁrm has been. Previous research has...
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