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Why Do Family Firms Strive for Nonfinancial Goals? An Organizational Identity Perspective

Authors

  • Thomas M. Zellweger,

    Corresponding author
    1. the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
      Thomas M. Zellweger, tel.: +41 71 224 71 00; e-mail: thomas.zellweger@unisg.ch, to Robert S. Nason at rnason@babson.edu, Mattias Nordqvist at mattias.nordqvist@ihh.hj.se, and to Candida G. Brush at cbrush@babson.edu.
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  • Robert S. Nason,

    Corresponding author
    1. Babson College, Boston, USA
      Thomas M. Zellweger, tel.: +41 71 224 71 00; e-mail: thomas.zellweger@unisg.ch, to Robert S. Nason at rnason@babson.edu, Mattias Nordqvist at mattias.nordqvist@ihh.hj.se, and to Candida G. Brush at cbrush@babson.edu.
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  • Mattias Nordqvist,

    Corresponding author
    1. Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden
      Thomas M. Zellweger, tel.: +41 71 224 71 00; e-mail: thomas.zellweger@unisg.ch, to Robert S. Nason at rnason@babson.edu, Mattias Nordqvist at mattias.nordqvist@ihh.hj.se, and to Candida G. Brush at cbrush@babson.edu.
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  • Candida G. Brush

    Corresponding author
    1. Babson College, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
      Thomas M. Zellweger, tel.: +41 71 224 71 00; e-mail: thomas.zellweger@unisg.ch, to Robert S. Nason at rnason@babson.edu, Mattias Nordqvist at mattias.nordqvist@ihh.hj.se, and to Candida G. Brush at cbrush@babson.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author

Thomas M. Zellweger, tel.: +41 71 224 71 00; e-mail: thomas.zellweger@unisg.ch, to Robert S. Nason at rnason@babson.edu, Mattias Nordqvist at mattias.nordqvist@ihh.hj.se, and to Candida G. Brush at cbrush@babson.edu.

Abstract

This paper develops an organizational identity-based rationale for why family firms strive for nonfinancial goals. We show that the visibility of the family in the firm, the transgenerational sustainability intentions of the family, and the capability of the firm for self-enhancement of the family positively influence the importance of identity fit between family and firm as well as the family's concern for corporate reputation. We suggest that the concern for corporate reputation leads the family to pursue nonfinancial goals to the benefit of nonfamily stakeholders. We also discuss reinforcing feedback loops in these processes.

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