Running in the Family – Paternalism and Familiness in the Development of Family Businesses

Heidrich, Balázs, Németh, Krisztina and Chandler, Nick (2016) Running in the Family – Paternalism and Familiness in the Development of Family Businesses. Vezetéstudomány - Budapest Management Review, 47 (11). pp. 70-82. DOI 10.14267/VEZTUD.2016.11.08

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The study focuses on two features of family businesses (FBs), namely familiness and paternalism. These two concepts are inseparable in two ways: inseparable from family businesses and also from each other. Family businesses differ from one another in the degree of family involvement, leadership and management in the business. Paternalism as a leadership attitude is naturally present in FBs, especially in the founding stage of development. This feature provides the solid bases for establishing a strong and proud culture built around the personality and success of the founder. This characteristic however can become a major hindering factor upon succession. Through a review of the literature and the INSIST studies for Central Europe this study aims to identify the supportive and limiting factors of both phenomena and examine the case studies of the INSIST research project for signs of the existence of these supportive and limiting factors. It is found that the degree of familiness in these firms is a sliding scale and a lack of familiness is not a precursor for failure. Paternalism is found to be broken down into authoritarian, benevolent, moral and enlightened. After discovering studies claiming that paternalism is a stage in the process of leadership style changing from participative to autocratic (or vice versa) and that Central Europe and the current era of instability and uncertainty lead to employees preferring a more autocratic or paternalistic style, our findings suggest that there are more driving than restraining forces for family firms adopting a paternalistic style. Furthermore many cases appear to be on the path from an authoritative towards a more enlightened paternalistic leadership style either out of choice in the search to shake off the drawbacks of other types of paternalism or as part of a natural evolution of this particular leadership style within the context of this study.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:familiness, paternalism, succession
Subjects:Management, business policy, business strategy
ID Code:2525
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:07 Dec 2016 15:55
Last Modified:21 Dec 2018 15:18

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