by Alfredo De Massis, Alberto Di Minin, and Federico FrattiniFEATURED
Family firms are the most ubiquitous form of business in the world. But because people have certain assumptions about how families work, they often have assumptions about how family businesses work. One central assumption revolves around the concept of innovation. Many people often believe that family firms will be more conservative and less innovative than their competitors. This article presents an integrated, contingency perspective on family firm innovation called Family-Driven Innovation (FDI). The framework highlights the need for consistency between a family firm’s strategic innovation decisions and its idiosyncrasies to achieve and sustain competitive advantage through innovation. This article also offers some directions for future research on FDI and serves as an introduction to this special section on family firms.
Family-Driven Innovation: Resolving the Paradox in Family FirmsFEATURED Family firms are a diverse group of organizations, but all have a certain set of “socio-emotional” preferences -- namely, the pursuit of non-economic goals that cater to family desires like preserving family control, providing jobs for relatives, and maintaining reputation within their communities.
Family Assets and Liabilities in the Innovation Process Are family firms innovative or not? Conflicting findings may stem from not sufficiently examining the role of “family assets,” the value-creating resources that are unique to family firms: name, reputation, legacy, network ties, and intangible values can all have an effect on the process of innovation.
Diagnosing Innovation Readiness in Family Firms While most stages of the innovation process present difficulties, the initial adoption phase is among the most important. One key means of enhancing the success of innovation within family firms is to assess readiness before beginning.
Fair Trade USA: Scaling for Impact CASE STUDY Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in North America. By forging notable partnerships with leading U.S. retailers including Starbucks, PepsiCo, Whole Foods, and others, FT USA had garnered a 55 percent brand recognition amongst consumers in the United States by 2014. But where should the company go from here?