Goal Complexity in Family Firm Diversification: Evidence from China
Drawing upon goal setting theory with a focus on goal hierarchy and goal inconsistency, this study investigates complex relationships among various socioemotional wealth goals in the context of family firm diversification. Using bootstrapping technique, we empirically analyzed a sample of 367 family-owned private firms in China. This study yields two important insights. First, maintaining family control of the firm is the most fundamental (lower-order) goal in the goal hierarchy, and intra-family succession intention and emotional attachment goals come into effect only when the owning family has substantial control over the business. Second, intra-family succession intention and emotional attachment have differential (inconsistent) effects on a family firm's diversification. This study makes important theoretical contributions to the family business literature by highlighting the complex relationships underlying the various SEW goals. We also provide practical implications for family business advisors and owners.
Dou, J., Wang, N., Su, E., Fang, C., & Memili, E. (2020). Goal Complexity in Family Firm Diversification: Evidence from China. Journal of Family Business Strategy Elsevier Ltd.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2019.100310
Business and Information Technology
01 Jan 2020
Keywords and Phrases
Family firms' diversification; Goal hierarchy; Goal inconsistency; Socioemotional wealth
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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