Significant deficiencies still persist in the literature regarding how family firms approach exploration and exploitation, and how the unique characteristics of such firms affect their ability to balance the two strategic orientations. This article aims to contribute to the debate by (1) providing a conceptualization of exploration and exploitation within long-lived family firms, (2) analyzing the role and the temporal dynamics of exploration and exploitation within long-lived family firms, and (3) identifying the characteristics of family businesses that facilitate the equilibrium between exploration and exploitation. We used a cross-case study, with an in-depth analysis of 24 firms belonging to an Italian association of historical family firms. Based on our findings, we argue that exploration and exploitation are independent and not opposing forces, which are balanced over time, and not at any point of time. This balance is almost naturally reached, thanks to specific features of family businesses that need to be evaluated considering the family level of analysis besides the organization one.

Moving forward or running to stand still? Exploring the nature and the role of family firms’ strategic orientation

Riviezzo A.
;
Marino V.;Napolitano M R
2015

Abstract

Significant deficiencies still persist in the literature regarding how family firms approach exploration and exploitation, and how the unique characteristics of such firms affect their ability to balance the two strategic orientations. This article aims to contribute to the debate by (1) providing a conceptualization of exploration and exploitation within long-lived family firms, (2) analyzing the role and the temporal dynamics of exploration and exploitation within long-lived family firms, and (3) identifying the characteristics of family businesses that facilitate the equilibrium between exploration and exploitation. We used a cross-case study, with an in-depth analysis of 24 firms belonging to an Italian association of historical family firms. Based on our findings, we argue that exploration and exploitation are independent and not opposing forces, which are balanced over time, and not at any point of time. This balance is almost naturally reached, thanks to specific features of family businesses that need to be evaluated considering the family level of analysis besides the organization one.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12070/6512
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