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Mining the Past: History Scripting Strategies and Competitive Advantage in a Family Business

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Number of pages29
Pages (from-to)223-251
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/10/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


History is increasingly recognized as a distinctive source of competitive advantage for family businesses. Taking a rhetorical history perspective, we study how a family business leveraged the family’s three generations long history of entrepreneurship to sustain profitable growth over 16 years. Through our analysis, we identify three history scripting strategies—embedding, elaborating, and building family history—that created important sources of competitive advantage for the family business, facilitating acceptance by broader communities, building a reputation of continuity, and inspiring innovation through tradition. These findings advance the history-informed understanding of family firms’ idiosyncratic sources of superior performance.