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The Morgan family firm’s collective narrative strategies as ‘habitus’
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, ESOL (Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Organization, Leadership). (CeFEO)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2416-0952
2010 (English)In: IFERA Lancaster 2010 10th Annual World Family Business Research Conference Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK6–9 July, 2010, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Family business ‘history’ and ‘the past’ are in the literature used interchangeably. History is often referred to as something static that can be elicited and analyzed from a firm’s past. Further, how culture is ingrained by history, especially the founder’s role is a well researched area (e.g. Dyer, 1986; Kets de Vries, 1993; Gersick et al., 1997; Garzia-Alvarez et al., 2002). The impact of family values and traditions on firm governance in general has also received attention (Alvesson and Melin, 1989; Kets de Vries, 1993; Hall et al., 2001; Hall, 2003; Brundin, Nordqvist and Melin, 2010). Hall, Melin and Nordqvist (2006) argue that family values, goals and relations have an impact on the strategy formation in the family firm. However, there is still scant research into how family business history may form firms’ narrative strategies. This paper suggests some perspectives and tools that can bring some more light on these matters.

 

A tenet of this paper is that discourse understanding is strategic. (Discourse) strategies, normally unconscious and instinctive, are formed to create multilevel representations employed in discourse understanding and memory (Dijk & Kintsch 1983). That is, it does not concur with Hall et al.’s, (2006)  claim that strategy is about “moving from its [the firm’s] history to its future” (p. 255). Along with Brundin & Kjellander, forthcoming), the paper claims that the firm’s history is an active part of the ongoing strategy formation of the firm.  When the family firm history has consequences for the present strategy formation of the firm, we claim that family business owners strategize.

 

The purpose is to discuss the unconscious and instinctive sides of these narrative strategies through the lens of Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of ‘habitus’. Firm praxis is in this paper seen as governed by habitus, which comprises both a practical apprehension of the world based on decisions made in the past as well as constructed, constructing dispositions “constituted in practice and […] always oriented towards practical function” (Bourdieu, 1990a: 52). Empirically, the paper applies Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to look into how a firm’s narrative strategies are constructed around a sort of habitus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-13846OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-13846DiVA: diva2:373395
Conference
IFERA
Available from: 2010-11-30 Created: 2010-11-30 Last updated: 2017-08-10

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