16 December 2014

Call for papers: "The Role of Context in Understanding Asian Family Firms"

For a special issue of the International Journal of Management Practice.

The purpose of this special issue is to look at the role of the Asian context in shaping the behaviour, attitudes, strategies and ultimately performance of Asian family firms. We seek manuscripts that report both qualitative and quantitative research. The content is anticipated to include a breadth of issues and challenges facing Asian family firms in their regional growth and development. For this special issue we take broad view of context by referring to the surroundings associated with particular phenomena of interest (Cappeli and Shere, 1991). Consequently, context can be considered as either institutional, including both formal (regulatory) and informal (socio-cultural) contexts, or organisational (e.g. organisational factors, governance structures, resources, etc.) in nature.

The importance of context in influencing individual and firm level behaviours has been well established by prior literature (Welter, 2011). However, although studies have begun to acknowledge and emphasise the importance of context with respect to family firms, few studies demonstrate context as an important determinant of family firm behaviour and performance (Gedajlovic, Carney, Chrisman and Kellermanns, 2012; Sharma and Chua, 2013). Family-owned and managed firms, most of which are small or medium in size, continue to dominate the global economy (IFERA, 2003). Throughout Asia, as much as 90% of firms are thought to be privately owned and managed, with many of them emerging as dominant players in the region (Yeung, 2005). Yet our existing knowledge regarding the experiences and contexts of family firms stems largely from Western family firms (De Massis, Sharma, Chua and Chrisman, 2012).

Recently there has been a call to action by family firm scholars to investigate family firms’ behaviours and performance in the Asia region (Sharma and Chua, 2013). We believe that the Asia region represents an interesting arena to consider the issues and challenges faced by family firms in their growth and development for two reasons. Firstly, although prior researchers have stressed the importance of Confucian values and principals as a key factor in explaining the unique business systems in the region, great heterogeneity can still be found in the region with respect culture and social values (Ahlstrom and Wang, 2010). Secondly, the continued economic and social transformation of the region has led to considerable institutional and social value evolution. Such features of the Asian context in general have led to the unique characteristics and evolution of family firms throughout the region. We believe that it is now time to take a deeper look at the issue of context and its effect on Asian family firms’ development, if we are to improve our understanding of such firms.

Ahlstrom, D. and Wang, L. C. (2010), Entrepreneurial capitalism in East Asia: How history matters. In Landström, H. and Lohrke, F. (Eds.) Historical foundations of entrepreneurial research, Edward Elgar; Cheltenham, UK, pp. 819–879.
Cappelli, P. and Sherer, P. D. (1991), ‘The missing role of context in OB-the need for a meso-level approach’, Research in organizational behavior, Vol. 13, pp. 55-110.
De Massis, A., Sharma, P., Chua, J. H. and Chrisman, J. J. (2012), ‘Family business studies: An annotated bibliography,’,Edward Elgar Publishing.
Gedajlovic, E., Carney, M., Chrisman, J. J. and Kellermanns, F. W. (2012), ‘The adolescence of family firm research taking stock and planning for the future’, Journal of Management, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 1010-1037.
Sharma, P. and Chua, J. H. (2013),‘Asian family enterprises and family business research’, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 327-327.
Welter, F. (2011), ‘Contextualizing entrepreneurship—conceptual challenges and ways forward’,Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 165-184.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The influence of Asian and familial cultural values and traditions on family firms in Asia (For example, what cultural and family dimensions have had a distinct impact on family firm practices and strategies? How have changes in national and social values influenced changes in family business values?)
  • How and what types of strategies do Asian family firms develop and implement in order to prosper in the region (For example, how does the local socio-cultural context influence strategy development and execution in family firms? How might economic and political contexts affect the internationalisation strategies and choices of Asian family firms (e.g. internationalisation of Asian family firms into other ASEAN countries)? How do institutions interact with family involvement to affect innovation and transgenerational entrepreneurship?)
  • Corporate governance and succession-related issues (What are variances in family structures and composition and how do they influence Asian family firm performance? How have Asian family firm structures adapted to changes in institutional structures over time? Which specific and social factors influence the choice of successor to commit to Asian family firms?)
  • Management of Asian family firms (For example, how do power structures, experience and family firm specific-culture influence the development of ownership feelings and emotions among family and non-family employees in Asian family firms? What is the role of family kinship bonds and trust in influencing the development of pro-organisational behaviours among Asian family firm employees?)
  • Comparative research among Asian family firms (For example, to what degree can institutional variations explain differences in Asian family firm performances?)

Important Dates
Online submission of manuscripts: 30 November, 2015

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