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Ceasing to communicate public family firm identity: the decoupling of internally experienced and externally communicated identities
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Organising for Sustainable Development Research Environment. (Strategiskt Entreprenörskap (StrEnt), Strategic Entrepreneurship)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4776-0085
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Organising for Sustainable Development Research Environment. (Strategiskt Entreprenörskap (StrEnt), Strategic Entrepreneurship)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8337-3472
Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden.
2024 (English)In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 199-224Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how the family firm identity is affected when it is no longer publicly communicated. Design/methodology/approach: A case study approach was used to follow a third-generation family business, a large Swedish home electronics firm that acquired a competitor and, initially, continued using its family firm identity after the acquisition. This study longitudinally tracks the company and its owning family using archival data combined with interviews. Findings: The case company decided to stop communicating their identity as a family business. Such a move initially appears counterintuitive, since it potentially threatens the family firm identity and leads the firm to forgo other advantages, e.g. in branding. However, the decision was based on arguments that were rational from a business perspective, leading to a decoupling of family and firm identity. Originality/value: This study contributes to the literature by showing a decoupling of internally experienced and externally communicated identities. It further contributes to the understanding of the family firm identity concept.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2024. Vol. 14, no 1, p. 199-224
Keywords [en]
Case study, Decoupling, Family business, Family firm identity, Rebranding, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Strategic Entrepreneurship
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-22656DOI: 10.1108/JFBM-01-2023-0003ISI: 000994457100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85160336097OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-22656DiVA, id: diva2:1764321
Note

CC BY 4.0

© 2023, Börje Boers, Torbjörn Ljungkvist and Olof Brunninge.

Article publication date: 26 May 2023

Corresponding author Börje Boers can be contacted at: borje.boers@his.se

Available from: 2023-06-08 Created: 2023-06-08 Last updated: 2024-03-19Bibliographically approved

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Boers, BörjeLjungkvist, Torbjörn

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