Commentary: Family Firms and the Advantage of Multitemporality


Isabelle Le Breton-Miller, tel.: (514) 340-7315; email:, and to Danny Miller at tel.: (514) 340-6501; email:


In this commentary, we argue the need for multitemporality (MT)—the ability to achieve enduring success by meeting both short- and long-term challenges—and we show how many family firms are in a superior position to do that. We situate Lumpkin and Brigham's (L&B's) long-term orientation (LTO) components within a multitemporal frame in part by relating them to their primary mechanisms of intertemporality. We then extend L&B's LTO conception by moving from an organizational mindset to its effective actualization via multitemporal facilitators as they manifest in family firms, arguing also the conditions under which family firms have an advantage in achieving MT. We conclude with a discussion of suggested research directions.