Edited by Mattias Nordqvist, Leif Melin, Mattias Waldkirch and Gershon Kumeto
Chapter 8: Social identity theory and the family business
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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