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Motivation within a Family Business: Why are non-family managers motivated to work within a family business?
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]



Family business is the most common type of enterprise in the world and an elaborative subject to perform research in. However, the linkage between motivation and family business is not common to study, especially form the non-family managers’ perspective. Therefore, this thesis aims to fulfill the missing gap in research concerning motivational factors for non-family managers within a family business. Motivational factors are crucial for individuals in order to perform, although the motivational factors for a non-family manager within a family business is a complex phenomena. Several parameters must be taken into consideration, such as the family businesses characteristics and sources to motivation.


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and to reach an understanding for why non-family managers are motivated to work within a family business.  


The method used in this thesis is a qualitative research with an abductive reasoning, based on ten interviews with eight different family businesses. The interviews include a variation of family businesses, as well as a variation of respondents, in order to receive a wide overview of how motivation is applied in different type of areas. However, the selection of this thesis interviews is based on that all the organizations are medium to large sized family businesses that have both family members and non-family members within their management team. In addition, all the respondents are non-family members, with a management position, within a family business.


The result of this thesis argues that the main reasons for why non-family managers are motivated to work within a family business are: The opportunity to be part of the decision making process and the possibility to influence the future culture within a family business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
Motivation, Family Business, Non-Family Manager, Family Business Culture, Decision Making Process.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18380OAI: diva2:532228
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-13 Created: 2012-06-10 Last updated: 2012-06-13Bibliographically approved

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