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The founder’s psychological ownership and its strategic implications
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future. (Strategiskt entreprenörskap, Strategic Entrepreneurship (StrEnt))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8337-3472
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future. (Strategiskt entreprenörskap, Strategic Entrepreneurship (StrEnt))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4776-0085
2019 (English)In: Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, ISSN 1462-6004, E-ISSN 1758-7840Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the change of the founder’s psychological ownershipwhen s/he sells the business and its implications for the organization’s strategy.Design/methodology/approach – The study contributes with a longitudinal study of psychologicalownership, accounting for its development over time in a Swedish e-commerce company. By applying a casestudy methodology, conclusions are drawn from a vast amount of archival data and interviews. The empiricalmaterial covers the transition from a founder-run, family-owned to a first foreign-owned, and currentlyprivate-equity owned company.Findings – Theoretically, it extends understandings of psychological ownership and its strategicimplications by including former legal owners; that is, how psychological ownership changes after legalownership ceases. Thereby, it develops the individual dimension (founder and former owner) of psychologicalownership as well as its collective dimension (employees toward founder). The paper contributes to thepsychological ownership founder and exit-literatures by highlighting continuity after the formal sale of legalownership and its consequences for the organization.Practical implications – It finds that new legal owners can use this heritage to signal continuity andlaunch strategic changes by transforming it into artifacts.Originality/value – This study extends the understanding of development of psychological ownership offounders from foundation to exit and its consequences for the organization’s strategy. This extension shedsnew light on founders as artifacts of organizations and thereby their role for the organizational heritage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Case study, Strategy, Sweden, Psychological ownership, Founder heritage
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Strategic Entrepreneurship
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-18000DOI: 10.1108/JSBED-12-2018-0386ISI: 000501327300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85076559995OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-18000DiVA, id: diva2:1377070
Available from: 2019-12-10 Created: 2019-12-10 Last updated: 2020-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Ljungkvist, TorbjörnBoers, Börje

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