Inderscience Publishers

Change through innovation in family businesses: evidence from an Italian sample

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Research on the linkages between family firms, innovation and change is scant and lacking empirical investigation. In parallel the incessantly changing business environment and its consequent unpredictability and strategic disorientation, demand for radical organisational changes, without however signifying their nature. This research investigates the innovative capacity of family businesses and the degree and manner to which innovation can lead to change or even be the change needed in the context of strategic reorientation. The research investigates innovation with reference to the resource perspective, which is measured in terms of the human, social and marketing capitals. The findings highlight the innovative strength of family businesses and suggest that innovation is indeed not simply the means of strategic change, but, in its deeper sense, the strategic change itself. Moreover, innovation and change, as a unified goal, are required to be dynamic and constant, as opposed to static and instant.

Keywords: family business, organisational change, innovation, resource perspective, strategy, Italy, family firms, innovative capacity, strategic reorientation, strategic change, social capital, marketing capital, human capital

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