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Critical events and social capital of family businesses

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conference contribution
posted on 04.04.2019, 13:17 by Elias Hadjielias, Peggy (Pagona) Alexopoulou, Louise ScholesLouise Scholes, Mathew HughesMathew Hughes
Our study is set to investigate the way critical events influence social capital of family firms. We focus on macro-economic shocks (Hoffman et al., 2001; Ramey, 2016) that can trigger organisational transformation (Fligstein, 1991; Tan & See, 2004). We examine this phenomenon in the context of family-owned SMEs (Gersick et al., 1997; Lansberg, 1999), experiencing and dealing with a financial crisis as an instance of such shock. We consider family businesses as businesses in which the family has a hand-on involvement in the management of the business (Astrachan et al., 2002; Shanker & Astrachan, 1996). We examine social capital at the organisational level, which refers to resources an organisation accumulates as part of relations within and beyond its boundaries (Fischer & Pollock, 2004; Herrero & Hughes, 2019; Zahra, 2010). We consider the structural and relational properties of social capital (Moran, 2005; Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998). Structural social capital relates to the configuration of linkages between actors such as individuals and organisations upstream or downstream the value chain (Burt, 1992; Granovetter, 1985). Relational social capital focuses on the normative conditions that drive the relationships between actors in networks (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998). Considering the above, we address the following research question: How do critical events influence a family firm’s structural and relational social capital?



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

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IFERA 2019 Annual Conference


HADJIELIAS, E. ... et al, 2019. Critical events and social capital of family businesses. Presented at the IFERA 2019 Annual Conference, Bergamo, Italy, 17-21 June 2019.


International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) © The Authors


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Bergamo, Italy