Parental behaviors and next-generation engagement in family firms: a social cognitive perspective

Next-generation engagement is a key contributor to the success and continuity of family businesses. It has been recognized that family relationships are an important factor in shaping such engagement. However, we know little as to how this process unfolds especially during the formative years of next-generation members. Using the principles of social cognitive theory and drawing from the literatures of career development, organizational behavior and family business, we propose a conceptual model that examines the psychological mechanisms linking parental behavior and next-generation engagement. We argue that parental behaviors influence next-generation engagement through its effects on next-generation members’ self-efficacy and commitment. We elaborate on this model by presenting contingency factors that moderate the proposed relationships. Lastly, we offer theoretical implications that can open new avenues for future research.