Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate how familiness and entrepreneurial leadership are related to each other in family firms. Familiness and entrepreneurial leadership are viewed as resources for strategic entrepreneurship. The aim of the paper is to shed light on familiness in three family firms and contribute to the field's growing body of work. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a case study method. The interviewees were interviewed by theme questions and secondary information was gathered to strengthen the empirical section. Qualitative interpretation of empirical data was used. Findings – The findings demonstrate the variety of familiness and entrepreneurial leadership within family firms. The degree of familiness varies between firms and the nature of entrepreneurial leadership also differs. The findings suggest that familiness is related to entrepreneurial leadership. It is a resource for strategic entrepreneurship in family firms. Research limitations/implications – The limitation of the study is the case study method. The paper is based on qualitative and interpretive approach. The paper endeavours to understand familiness related to entrepreneurial leadership rather than generalise the results statistically. Practical implications – The paper offers a perspective for business schools in teaching leadership for family firms. Education needs to be tailored to meet the relevant needs. Benchmarking from this case study offers one pathway for this. Originality/value – The study contributes to research on structural, cognitive, and relational familiness. The paper shows that informal relations and flexibility are typical for entrepreneurial leadership in family firms.
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2012
Keywords: Entrepreneurial leadership; Familiness; Family business; Strategic entrepreneurship; Family firms; Leadership; Entrepreneurialism
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