Szymanska, I. (2015). A CASE STUDY OF ENTREPRENEURIAL ORIENTATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITY NEGOTIATION IN LARGE, TRANSGENERATIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
The current body of research suggests that the relative importance of business objectives and family objectives changes over time in family firms (Miller et al., 2011). As family firms age, company management tends to provide more resources for the immediate needs of family members rather than invest in projects capable of bringing new streams of revenue. However, there are exceptions from this trend: The decrease in competitiveness does not affect all family businesses. I am interested in how some family businesses are able to maintain a strong business and entrepreneurial focus over generations. I am also interested in the interaction between the family and non-family members that can potentially contribute to creating these conditions. The long history of the family business that was studied in this research project, as well as its strong position among the competitors made this company a suitable case study for the broad research question exploring the sources, the scope and the facets of entrepreneurial orientation present in the family business, as well as the ways in which organizational identity influenced company entrepreneurship and innovation. The results of the study indicate that the company strived to be entrepreneurial, but their efforts were inhibited by the basic organizational pressures and aspects of their organizational identity centered on their being a community retail store. Findings of the study are discussed in the light of the existing body of scholarship on entrepreneurship in family businesses. In addition to that, the study also presents theoretical propositions related to the questions on how and why a transgenerational family business with diminishing entrepreneurial focus may make an effort to foster entrepreneurship.