The Family Innovator's Dilemma: How Family Influence Affects the Adoption of Discontinuous Technologies by Incumbent Firms

Journal article


Publication Details

Author(s): König A, Kammerlander N, Enders A
Journal: Academy of Management Review
Publisher: Academy of Management
Publication year: 2013
Volume: 38
Pages range: 418-441
ISSN: 0363-7425


Abstract


We integrate research on family business and discontinuous change to better explain why incumbents vary in when and how they adopt discontinuous technologies. Family influence induces companies to strive for continuity, command, community, and connections and, thus, alters the mix of constraints under which firms operate. Consequently, family influence weakens several of the inertial forces described in the discontinuous change literature, particularly the level of formalization, dependence on external capital providers, and political resistance. However, it also aggravates critical sources of organizational paralysis, specifically emotional ties to existing assets and the rigidity of mental models. We aggregate these seemingly contradictory effects to show that, overall, discontinuous change conflicts with essential goals and values of the family system, and, therefore, family influence entails fundamentally different dilemmas than those described in extant research. In turn, although highly family-influenced companies recognize discontinuous technologies later than their less family-influenced counterparts, they implement adoption decisions more quickly and with more stamina. Moreover, family influence reduces adoption aggressiveness and flexibility. We discuss important implications of our research for conversations on discontinuous change as well as for the debate on the advantages and disadvantages of family influence in firms. © Academy of Management Review 2013.



FAU Authors / FAU Editors

König, Andreas Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Unternehmensführung


External institutions with authors

IMD - International Institute for Management Development
WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management


How to cite

APA:
König, A., Kammerlander, N., & Enders, A. (2013). The Family Innovator's Dilemma: How Family Influence Affects the Adoption of Discontinuous Technologies by Incumbent Firms. Academy of Management Review, 38, 418-441. https://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amr.2011.0162

MLA:
König, Andreas, Nadine Kammerlander, and Albrecht Enders. "The Family Innovator's Dilemma: How Family Influence Affects the Adoption of Discontinuous Technologies by Incumbent Firms." Academy of Management Review 38 (2013): 418-441.

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2018-16-10 at 21:20