The Temporal Evolution of Proactiveness in Family Firms: The Horizontal S-Curve Hypothesis

Family Business Review, October 2013

17 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2014 Last revised: 17 May 2014

See all articles by Alfredo De Massis

Alfredo De Massis

Lancaster University - Management School

Francesco Chirico

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School; Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS)

Josip Kotlar

University of Bergamo

Lucia Naldi

Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS)

Date Written: March 14, 2014

Abstract

We extend prior work on proactiveness in family firms by examining the relationship between firm age and proactiveness. Specifically, we propose an S-shaped effect of aging of family firms on proactiveness. Additionally, we provide a contingency perspective by considering the moderating role of the dispersion of managerial control among family members. Using a sample of 199 Swiss family firms with dual respondents per firm, we find that proactiveness first declines, then increases, and finally decreases again as the family firm ages, and that this relationship is steeper when the managerial control is dispersed among multiple family members.

Keywords: family firm, firm age, proactiveness, control dispersion

Suggested Citation

De Massis, Alfredo and Chirico, Francesco and Kotlar, Josip and Naldi, Lucia, The Temporal Evolution of Proactiveness in Family Firms: The Horizontal S-Curve Hypothesis (March 14, 2014). Family Business Review, October 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2409034

Alfredo De Massis

Lancaster University - Management School ( email )

Bailrigg
Lancaster, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Francesco Chirico (Contact Author)

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School ( email )

New South Wales 2109
Australia

Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS) ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

Josip Kotlar

University of Bergamo ( email )

Via Salvecchio, 19
Bergamo, 24129
Italy

Lucia Naldi

Jonkoping University - Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS) ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

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