Business Models, Innovation and Competitive Advantage
Edited by Giorgia M. D’Allura, Andrea Colli and Sanjay Goel
Chapter 2: Institutions and family firms: past achievements and new challenges
Institutions, formal and informal, can be defined as stable patterns of behaviour, enforced by rules and social control. Scholars have proposed the identification between organizations and institutions. This chapter proposes a further refinement of these broad concepts in the case of family firms, defined as a peculiar form of business organization, in which one or more families stably and simultaneously enjoy ownership, control and management over the organization itself, influencing its strategies, competitive behaviour and performance goals. First, the chapter suggests that it is not possible to dismiss the influence of the ‘family dimension’ over the production of the norms and rules on which family-owned firms as organizations base their actions. Second, it claims that family firms are themselves peculiar forms of corporate organization in their turn embedded into a well-defined macro-institutional context. Third, it analyses how the two mentioned levels co-evolve.
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