The "open family firm": openness as boundary work in family enterprises

  • “Openness” has become an established norm in the contemporary business environment. However, despite the crucial importance of boundaries and boundary work in organization and management theory, openness—as opening up boundaries of family firms and entrepreneurial families in collaborating with external actors—has received only nascent attention in the family business domain. We introduce the notion of openness in the family business field. Drawing on the organizational boundary and family business literatures, we develop a conceptual framework of family firm openness as boundary work and examine and discuss the drivers, mechanisms, and consequences of openness in family enterprises. Then, drawing on this framework, we set out an agenda for future research that will contribute to a better understanding of openness, boundaries, and boundary work in family firms and entrepreneurial families. We conclude by discussing some contemporary examples of research on the “open family firm.”

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Author:Frank Lambrechts, Jolien Huybrechts, Alfredo De Massis, Erik E. LehmannORCiDGND
Frontdoor URL
Parent Title (English):Small Business Economics
Publisher:Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Place of publication:Dordrecht
Year of first Publication:2023
Publishing Institution:Universität Augsburg
Release Date:2022/09/30
Tag:Economics and Econometrics; General Business, Management and Accounting
First Page:1307
Last Page:1322
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre / Lehrstuhl für Unternehmensführung und Organisation
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):CC-BY 4.0: Creative Commons: Namensnennung (mit Print on Demand)