Governance, Social Identity, and Entrepreneurial Orientation in Closely Held Public Companies

Authors

  • Danny Miller,

    Corresponding author
    1. HEC Montreal and the University of Alberta
      Danny Miller, tel.: 1-514-340-6501; e-mail: danny.miller@hec.ca, and to Isabelle Le Breton-Miller at isabelle.lebreton@hec.ca.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Isabelle Le Breton-Miller

    Corresponding author
    1. HEC Montreal and the University of Alberta
      Danny Miller, tel.: 1-514-340-6501; e-mail: danny.miller@hec.ca, and to Isabelle Le Breton-Miller at isabelle.lebreton@hec.ca.
    Search for more papers by this author

Danny Miller, tel.: 1-514-340-6501; e-mail: danny.miller@hec.ca, and to Isabelle Le Breton-Miller at isabelle.lebreton@hec.ca.

Abstract

Based on notions from the identity theory, this study argues that in public firms in which ownership is concentrated, owner-chief executive officer (CEO) identities will influence entrepreneurial orientation (EO), and EO will relate to superior performance. Specifically, lone founder owners and CEOs will embrace entrepreneurial identities: their firms will exhibit high levels of EO and outperform. Post-founder family owners and CEOs, given their ties to family in the organization, will assume identities as family nurturers, thereby limiting EO and performance. Family firm founders will exhibit blended identities and demonstrate intermediate levels of EO and performance. This analysis of Fortune 1000 firms finds support for these arguments.

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