Communication in family businesses: Relationships between family and non-family managers
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Problem: Family firms often comprise of a complex web of relationships between family and non-family managers that are active within the business. Family enterprises are also known for their closed communication and decision-making practices. It often occurs that families do not include non-family managers into important business-related discussions and do not consult their decisions with managers from outside of the family. At the same time, research in the area of family business defines that the relationships between family and non-family managers are highly linked to the success of a business. With these considerations in mind, this study investigates how family and non-family managers communicate in family businesses.
Purpose: The purpose of the thesis is to create an understanding of the phenomenon of communication and information-sharing between family and non-family managers in small and medium-sized family firms in Sweden. In particular, we are investigating the distinctive characteristics of communication, the barriers to effective communication, and what business-related information that is not shared between family and non-family managers.
Method: This study is conducted qualitatively, utilising multiple case studies. For the collection of empirical data, we conducted twelve semi-structured interviews with both family and non-family managers in three small and medium-sized family companies located in Sweden.
Findings: Our findings show that there are multiple distinctive characteristics of communication in family firms. Additionally, we uncovered several groups of barriers that hinder effective communication between family and non-family managers in family companies. Additionally, we found out that there is numerous business-related information that is not shared between family and non-family managers.
Contributions: Our findings contribute to the managerial and theoretical understanding of communication and information-sharing between family and non-family managers in family businesses. This thesis is of interest to any individual working in or with family companies, as well as, academics, who investigate the field of family business.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 75 p.
communication, relationship, family business, information-sharing, family manager, non-family manager
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31118ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160298OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31118DiVA: diva2:949437
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration