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Goal setting in family firms: goal diversity, social interactions, and collective commitment to family-centered goals

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/2013
JournalEntrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Journal number6
Volume37
Number of pages26
Pages1263-1288
Early online date30/09/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Goal setting in family firms is very complex due to the interplay between family and business systems. However, this topic is largely overlooked in family business research. In this qualitative study of goals and goal formulation processes among 76 organizational members across 19 family firms, we identify goal diversity as a direct consequence of the overlap between the family, ownership, and business systems. We found that goal diversity is expressed more strongly in the proximity of generational transitions, triggering social interaction processes through which organizational members contrast their goals. Our findings suggest that different types of social interactions lead to different behaviors, with familial social interactions being more effective than professional social interactions in managing goal diversity toward the formation of collective commitment to family-centered goals.