Title

Goal Complexity in Family Firm Diversification: Evidence from China

Abstract

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.

Department(s)

Business and Information Technology

Publication Date

01 Jan 2020

Comments

Acknowledgement: The National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant Numbers 71672173].

Article in press

Keywords and Phrases

Family firms' diversification; Goal hierarchy; Goal inconsistency; Socioemotional wealth

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1877-8585

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

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