Natural Disasters as a Source of Entrepreneurial Opportunity: Family Business Resilience After an Earthquake

Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Forthcoming

Bocconi University Management Research Paper

46 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2020

See all articles by Carlo Salvato

Carlo Salvato

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Massimo Sargiacomo

'Gabriele d'Annunzio' University of Chieti-Pescara

Mario Daniele Amore

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Alessandro Minichilli

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Date Written: September 12, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Salvato, Carlo and Sargiacomo, Massimo and Amore, Mario Daniele and Minichilli, Alessandro, Natural Disasters as a Source of Entrepreneurial Opportunity: Family Business Resilience After an Earthquake (September 12, 2020). Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Forthcoming, Bocconi University Management Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3693817

Carlo Salvato (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Massimo Sargiacomo

'Gabriele d'Annunzio' University of Chieti-Pescara ( email )

Viale Pindaro 42
Chieti Scalo, Pescara 66013
Italy

Mario Daniele Amore

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Alessandro Minichilli

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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