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The ability and willingness paradox in family firm innovation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2015
JournalThe Journal of Product Innovation Management
Original languageEnglish


We present a framework of how family involvement influences innovation management based on ability (discretion to act) and willingness (disposition to act), two drivers that distinguish family firms from non-family firms and lead to heterogeneity among family firms. Paradoxically, family firms have superior ability yet lower willingness to engage in technological innovation. Resolving this paradox should yield new insights about innovation management in general. We summarize and position the papers in this special issue according to these drivers and set out an agenda for further research that will contribute to a better understanding of family firms’ heterogeneous and paradoxical behaviors.

Bibliographic note

Authors' names listed in alphabetical order, with all authors having contributed equally