Exploring the Identity of Family Businesses and Its Role in Stakeholder Relations in an Emerging Market
The identity of family firms is considered by the literature a unique source of competitive advantage in the realm of stakeholders relationship building and relationship marketing, mainly due to the positive perceptions stakeholders hold regarding this model of business (Astrachan and Astrachan, Family business branding: leveraging stakeholder trust. IFB research foundation report 1–43. IFB Research Foundation, London, 2015; Blombäck, Realizing the value of family business identity as corporate brand element—a research model, JIBS working papers. Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, 2011; Krappe et al., J Fam Bus Manag 1:37–46, 2011). Nevertheless, these positive perceptions need to be activated in the minds of stakeholders in order for them to be part of the decision-making process stakeholders go through and be utilized by them to favor family businesses. A critical step in this activation process is the communication of the family identity from the part of the family firms. Therefore, it is necessary that these businesses act intentionally towards communicating their identity in order to turn on the mental evaluation mechanism that takes into consideration the perceptions regarding the identity of the business which, according to the arguments in the literature has the potential to yield favorable results for family firms.
Although the literature emphasizes the importance of communicating the family identity (Carrigan and Buckley, Int J Cons Stud 32:656–666, 2008; Craig et al., J Small Bus Manag 46:351–371, 2008; Memili et al., J Fam Bus Strat 1:200–209, 2010) the evidences used are mainly conceptual in nature (Blombäck, Realizing the value of family business identity as corporate brand element—a research model, JIBS working papers. Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, 2011; Krappe et al., J Fam Bus Manag 1:37–46, 2011) and limited in their identification of actual practices taken by family firms to communicate their identity (Botero et al., J Fam Bus Strat 4:12–21, 2013).
Using the content analysis methodology this study reviews the websites of 365 family owned businesses in Romania and analyzes the approach taken by these businesses in regard to their family identity and the communication of this identity via the company’s official website.
KeywordsFamily business Organizational identity Explicit communication Home page website Implicit communication
- Astrachan J, Astrachan CB. Family business branding: leveraging stakeholder trust. IFB research foundation report 1–43. London: IFB Research Foundation; 2015.Google Scholar
- Bălan C. Dreptul consumatorului la informare înainte de cumpărare: Cercetări privind magazinele online româneşti de bunuri de consum tehnice. Amfiteatru Econ. 2014;16:366–82.Google Scholar
- Blombäck A. Realizing the value of family business identity as corporate brand element – a research model, JIBS working papers. Jönköping: Jönköping International Business School; 2011.Google Scholar
- Fotea S, Echevarria S. Governance particularities of Romanian family business. In: Vaduva S, Fotea IS, Thomas AR, editors. Business ethics and leadership from an eastern European, transdisciplinary context: the 2014 Griffiths school of management annual conference on business, entrepreneurship and ethics. Cham: Springer; 2017. p. 31–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-45186-2_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fotea S, Marici M, Fotea I, Văduva S. Customer-based reputation of family businesses in an emergent market. In: SGEM, international conference - 5th international multidisciplinary scientific conference on social sciences and arts SGEM 2018, vol. 5. p. 241–252.Google Scholar
- INS. Întreprinderi mici s,i mijloci în economia românească-2017 (Raport Anual No. 47). Bucuresti: INS; 2017.Google Scholar
- Keller KL. Strategic brand management: building, measuring, and managing brand equity. 4th ed. Boston: Pearson; 2012.Google Scholar
- Szabo Z, Szabo KD. Family businesses in Romania. In: Family businesses and SMEs in the black sea economic cooperation region. Istanbul: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V; 2014. p. 7–294.Google Scholar