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Exploring the Identity of Family Businesses and Its Role in Stakeholder Relations in an Emerging Market

  • Silvia Fotea
  • Ioan Gh. Pop
  • Ioan Fotea
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Family business Organizational identity Explicit communication Home page website Implicit communication 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Fotea
    • 1
  • Ioan Gh. Pop
    • 2
  • Ioan Fotea
    • 2
  1. 1.The Bucharest University of Economic StudiesBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Emanuel University of OradeaOradeaRomania

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