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  • 1.
    Ahlberg, Jenny
    et al.
    Linnaeus Univ, Vaxjo Campus, Vaxjo, Sweden..
    Collin, Sven-Olof Yrjo
    Free Univ Scan, Kristianstad, Sweden.;Kharkiv Univ Humanities, Peoples Ukrainian Acad, Kharkiv, Ukraine..
    Smith, Elin
    Kristianstad Univ, Kristianstad, Sweden..
    Uman, Timur
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO).
    Board functions in governance arenas: a comparative case study of four Swedish family firms2023In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore board functions and their location in family firms. Design/methodology/approach: Through structured induction in a four-case study of medium-sized Swedish family firms, the authors demonstrate that board functions can be located in other arenas than in the common board and suggest propositions that explain their distribution. Findings: (1) The board is but one of several arenas where board functions are performed. (2) The functions performed by the board vary in type and emphasis. (3) The non-family directors in a family firm serve the owners, even sometimes governing them, in what the authors term "bidirectional governance". (4) The kin strategy of the family influences their governance. (5) The utilization of a board for governance stems from the family (together with its constitution, kin strategy and governance strategy), the board composition and the business conditions of the firm. Research limitations/implications: Being a case study the findings are restricted to concepts and theoretical propositions. Using structured induction, the study is not solely inductive but still contains the subjectivity of induction. Practical implications: Governance agents should have an instrumental view on the board, considering it one possible governance arena among others, thereby economizing on governance. Social implications: The institutional pressure toward active boards could paradoxically reduce the importance of the board in family firms. Originality/value: The board of a family company differs in its emphasis of board functions and these functions are performed with varying emphases in different governance arenas. The authors propose the concept of kin strategy, which refers to the governance importance of the structure of the owner and observations on bi-directional governance, indicating that the board can govern the owners.

  • 2.
    Almlöf, Hanna
    et al.
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Sjögren, Hans
    Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Owner-manager when death do us part - roles of a widow in sudden succession in family firms2023In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 432-452Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    This study sheds light on a hitherto understudied group in family business literature: widows. We explore the roles a widow may take following the unexpected death of her owner-manager spouse when she had no salient role in the business prior to the death.

    Design/methodology/approach

    We used a qualitative approach to research, to study inductively the roles considered and taken by three widows who unexpectedly succeeded as owners of Swedish privately held family firms. We conducted semi-structured interviews with widows and children in top management.

    Findings

    We construct a typology of four main roles a widow can take and analyse the underlying dimensions that they represent. We also analyse to which extent the choice of role widow can be explained by psychological ownership and double-loss theory. The typology can be used as a tool for family business owners and their advisors as the basis of an open and non-prejudiced discussion of the choices available to a widow.

    Originality/value

    We have investigated the factors that influence a widow's decision whether to take over the business or not, as suggested in previous research by, for example, Martinez et al. (2009). We explore the roles a widow can consider and adopt. The study advances our understanding of how businesses can remain as family firms also in the event of the unexpected death of an owner-manager (De Massis et al., 2008). We hereby contribute to the literature on sudden successions and on women in family businesses.

  • 3.
    Bjursell, Cecilia
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell.
    Bäckvall, Lisa
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, EMM (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management). Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO).
    Family business women in media discourse: the business role and the mother role2011In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 154-173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - Writings in the media have the potential to influence our standpoint and, thereby, our actions. In this paper, the authors analyze how women in family business are represented in media to understand the frames set by this discourse in terms of women owning and leading family businesses. The aim of the paper is to explore how the counterposed roles of business person and mother are presented in media and what implications this might have for role enactment. Design/methodology/approach - The paper opted for an exploratory study of 308 articles about women in family business over a 15-year period. In the interpretative, qualitative analysis of media texts, the discursive construction of the mother role and the business role are explored. Findings - The paper provides empirical insights into how the mother role is taken for granted while the business role is approached as problematic in portrayals of women in family business. The authors discuss whether the media discourse reinforces traditional roles or stimulates role innovation. Practical implications - Understanding role as something separate from the individual provides a means to critically review expectations of women in business and how these expectations hinder business activities. Originality/value - The study examines data over a 15-year period in the Swedish media setting and describes changes in attitudes about women's roles in family business. Regarding the family business as an arena for performative acts provides a perspective that can highlight the intertwinement of the private and professional arenas in family business.

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  • 4.
    Boers, B.
    et al.
    School of Business, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    Ljungkvist, T.
    School of Business, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    Brunninge, Olof
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC).
    Ceasing to communicate public family firm identity: the decoupling of internally experienced and externally communicated identities2023In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how the family firm identity is affected when it is no longer publicly communicated. Design/methodology/approach: A case study approach was used to follow a third-generation family business, a large Swedish home electronics firm that acquired a competitor and, initially, continued using its family firm identity after the acquisition. This study longitudinally tracks the company and its owning family using archival data combined with interviews. Findings: The case company decided to stop communicating their identity as a family business. Such a move initially appears counterintuitive, since it potentially threatens the family firm identity and leads the firm to forgo other advantages, e.g. in branding. However, the decision was based on arguments that were rational from a business perspective, leading to a decoupling of family and firm identity. Originality/value: This study contributes to the literature by showing a decoupling of internally experienced and externally communicated identities. It further contributes to the understanding of the family firm identity concept.

  • 5.
    Brundin, Ethel
    et al.
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO).
    Litz, Reg
    von Schlippe, Arist
    Taking a hard look at soft issues in family business: Introduction to the special issue2013In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246, Vol. 3, no 1Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Haag, Kajsa
    et al.
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO).
    Sund, Lars-Göran
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Commercial and Tax Law. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO).
    Divorce in the family business: unfolding the legal problems by learning from practice2016In: Journal of Family Business Management, ISSN 2043-6238, E-ISSN 2043-6246, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 81-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the case of divorce in family business from a legal perspective and highlight the problems of applying family law in the family business context.

    Design/methodology/approach – The authors rely on legal analysis and interviews with estate distribution executors to discuss problems with the legal rules and how they are practiced.

    Findings – The findings show that the law is ill fitted to the situation where there is a family business included in the division of marital property. In divorce, family law dictates the division of marital property and the family business is reduced to an asset to be divided like any other. Critical issues are identified and elaborated.

    Research limitations/implications – Divorce and other disruptions to the family system should be considered in family business consultancy among other threats to the business. The legal perspective on divorce in the family business offered here primarily concerns ownership issues. The impact of divorce on management is equally in need of exploration, which is the suggestion for further studies.

    Practical implications – The paper illuminates in which ways the business is hampered from divorcing owners and discuss critical issues with applying family law in a family business context. Social implications – Policymakers should establish rules in which shares in an unlisted business are by default assigned to separate property until something else is contracted.

    Originality/value – New light is shed on the practical problems of interpreting family law in a family business context advancing the understanding of family aspects in family business management.

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    fulltext
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