Family Firms and Institutional Contexts
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Family Firms and Institutional Contexts

Business Models, Innovation and Competitive Advantage

Edited by Giorgia M. D’Allura, Andrea Colli and Sanjay Goel

Featuring in-depth analysis of original research, this innovative book takes an interdisciplinary, cross-national approach to the study of family firms as institutions as well as the relationship between family firms and external institutions. It demonstrates the impact of these interactions both on the firms and institutions themselves and in the wider economic context, and provides important conceptual insights as well as ideas for future research agendas.
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Chapter 6: Business modelling for business families

Rosario Faraci and Rosaria Ferlito

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the concept of the business family in the sense of a team of family members dedicated across generations to implementing various entrepreneurial activities; it also explains how this variable in turn influences business models. Thus the chapter investigates the micro-level of family business issues, analysing primarily the impact of the family on the organization. In detail in this chapter, the authors describe how business modelling - that is, the logic of representing a firm as a system in a holistic mode - may be useful in describing the intersection of business, ownership and family in business families. The bulk of existing studies start from firms and then move back to families to interpret the logic of family business. Instead, in this chapter the authors flip the perspective completely, using Alex Osterwalder’s business model canvas (BMC), by starting from families and then moving to firms. Indeed, the BMC is used as a comprehensive framework to depict how and to predict whether business families: 1) spread family values and principles over the firm(s) possessed by them; 2) market, communicate and share such values and principles with stakeholders, employees and customers; 3) integrate family values and principles into the key business infrastructure constituted by activities, resources and partnerships; and 4) enjoy benefits and incur costs in maximizing such values and principles in their businesses.

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