Natural Disasters as a Source of Entrepreneurial Opportunity: Family Business Resilience After an Earthquake
Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Forthcoming
46 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 12, 2020
What type of firms are more likely to survive or even thrive in disaster events such as earthquakes, wildfires, and the COVID-19 pandemic? We investigate whether family ownership and industry positioning affect firms’ ability to capture opportunities for business recovery after a natural disaster. We analyze the performance of Italian family and nonfamily firms around a disastrous earthquake in 2009. Following the earthquake, family firms performed better than nonfamily firms, especially when multiple family members were involved as owners. Moreover, family ownership is beneficial in industries highly dependent on the public sector. Our findings provide evidence on the superior resilience of family firms by illustrating the characteristics that allow firms hit by disaster events to seize posttraumatic entrepreneurial opportunities for recovery and growth.
Keywords: Family firms, natural disasters, resilience, social capital, entrepreneurial opportunities
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