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Linking Family Firm Image to Performance: How Family Firms build Trust to foster Success

Thomas Zellweger, Franz W. Kellermanns, Kimberley H. Eddleston & Esra Memili (Eds.)

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abstract Recently it has been demonstrated that developing a family–based brand identity positively contributes to firm growth through its influence on customer-centered values (Craig, Dibrell & Davis, 2008). Focusing on branding activities, Craig and colleagues (2008) examined the influence of promoting a business as a “family business” to stakeholders like customers, suppliers and financiers. Family businesses that build a family firm image in the marketplace capitalize on customers’ positive perception of family firms as trustworthy (Taguiri & Davis, 1996; Ward & Arnonoff, 1995), customer-focused and quality driven (Sundaramurthy & Kreiner, 2008). Therefore, being known as a “family firm” may be a positive attribute in the minds of stakeholders that contributes to performance.
Drawing from organizational identity theory, we argue that a family firm image capitalizes on a family firm’s ability to garner trust and respect in the marketplace. We define family firm image as the intentional projection of a family business identity to external audiences. While research suggests that family members’ concern for their firm’s image (Anderson & Reeb, 2003) and brand identity (Craig et al., 2008) influence success, the processes through which a family firm emphasizes its family firm image and how that impacts firm performance is not understood. Such an investigation is important since family firms are often assumed to be concerned with their image (Dyer & Whetten, 2006; Steier, 2001) and to be favorably viewed by consumers (Craig et al., 2008; Sundaramurthy & Kreiner, 2008), yet no known study has examined the antecedents and consequences of a family firm image.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords
   
project Strategic Entrepreneurship in Family Firms
name of conference Family Enterprise Research Conference (Cancun)
date of conference 16-4-2010
page(s) 1
review double-blind review
   
citation (2010). Linking Family Firm Image to Performance: How Family Firms build Trust to foster Success. In Zellweger, T., Kellermanns, F. W., Eddleston, K. H., & Memili, E. (Eds.), , pp.1.