Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    The Family Innovator's Dilemma: How Family Influence Affects the Adoption of Discontinuous Technologies by Incumbent Firms
    (Academy of Management, 2013-07)
    König, Andreas
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    Enders, Albrecht
    We integrate research on family business and discontinuous change to better explain why incumbents vary in when and how they adopt discontinuous technologies. Family influence induces companies to strive for continuity, command, community, and connections, and thus alters the mix of constraints under which firms operate. Consequently, family influence weakens several of the inertial forces described in the discontinuous change literature, particularly the level of formalization, dependence on external capital providers, and political resistance. However, it also aggravates critical sources of organizational paralysis, specifically emotional ties to existing assets and the rigidity of mental models. We aggregate these seemingly contradictory effects to show that, overall, discontinuous change conflicts with essential goals and values of the family system and, therefore, family influence entails fundamentally different dilemmas than those described in extant research. In turn, although highly family-influenced companies recognize discontinuous technologies later than their less family-influenced counterparts, they implement adoption decisions more quickly and with more stamina. Moreover, family influence reduces adoption aggressiveness and flexibility. We discuss important implications of our research for conversations on discontinuous change as well as for the debate on the advantages and disadvantages of family influence in firms.
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    Scopus© Citations 285
  • Publication
    Organizational Identity and Adaptation to Discontinuous Change: The Role of Focus and Locus
    (Academy of Management, 2012-08-07) ;
    König, Andreas
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    Enders, Albrecht
    Organizational identity has been envisaged as a critical precursor of organizational adaptation. However, the various dimensions of identity and their precise influence on organizations' responses to discontinuous technologies remain underexplored. Using rich field data on the responses of 14 German publishing houses to the emergence of digitization, we provide an explorative basis to fill this gap. Our analysis suggests that two dimensions of organizational identity exist, each having different main effects: focus, which ranges from inclusive to exclusive, significantly affects the degree to which companies adopt the new technology or do not; locus of identity, which may be self- or environment-related, is strongly associated with the speed of the response to discontinuous change. We then explore the interactive effects of identity focus and locus on incumbent adaptation. Our inquiry reveals that each of the four focus-locus combinations shows an idiosyncratic pattern of adaptation regarding the response timing, the activeness versus passiveness of the response, and, where applicable, the precise type of active response strategy. Our research adds to the emerging stream of research on cognitive determinants of organizational adaptation and is one of the first empirical studies to explain incumbent response heterogeneity through the lens of organizational identity.
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  • Publication
    The Family Factor : Family Influence and Incumbent Response to Discontinuous Change
    (Academy of Management, 2011-08-15)
    König, Andreas
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    Enders, Albrecht
    Few topics have received more attention in the management literature than the faltering of established organizations in the face of discontinuous change. However, the role played by the social context of major shareholders, particularly families, has been largely underexplored. In this conceptual paper, we contribute to bridging this research gap by integrating the literature on organizational inertia with research on family businesses to explain how family influence affects the reaction of established organizations to technological discontinuities. Specifically, we propose that family firms adopt the innovation faster than their non-family owned counterparts; however, they take smaller, less aggressive initiatives and they encounter more difficulties in adopting new, non-paradigmatic routines than non-family owned firms. We also suggest that, when the technology is further emerging, family businesses show more stamina than other companies: that is, they are more willing to continue investing in a new technology, particularly after initial failure. Finally, we hypothesize that executive personality, particularly the openness to experience of the CEO, moderates the association between family influence and technology adoption. Our model has important implications for theory on organizational change and family business research.
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