Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Family-Firm Leadership: A Case Study of an Organizational Family-Firm Leadership According to Bowen's Family Systems Theory and Lewin's Systems Theory
by Bequeath, Kristen M., D.A., Franklin Pierce University, 2014, 154; 3640146
Abstract (Summary)

Family firms contribute to both the national and global economies. Over the last few decades, the family-business field has continued to develop, as have its counterpart disciplines of business, economics, psychology, and social sciences. The study of leadership theory has also advanced over the years; however, not much research has applied this theory to family firms.

This dissertation contains the oral histories of a family-owned manufacturing business that is still operating after 60 years. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to examine the leadership dynamics of a family operation. To provide a theoretical leadership model to understand the oral histories presented in this dissertation, four major themes were discussed: family systems theory, organizational psychology, leadership studies, and the manufacturing industry.

The shifts in scholars' understanding of organizational dynamics were presented using Bowen's family systems theory and Lewin's systems theory is detailed in the narrative portion. This study used two mechanisms to study the family firm: oral histories (captured through open-ended interviews) and written documents and memoirs. Excerpts of written narratives also ground the interviews within the firm's historical and geographical setting.

This study documents the significance in understanding organizational culture to the development of a leadership model for family firms. This case study provides the opportunity to identify key attributes within a successful family firm. This firm has remained successful through multiple leaders over several decades within a challenging industry.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moore-West, Maggie, Abel, Richard
Commitee: Kumar, Sonal
School: Franklin Pierce University
Department: Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Hampshire
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Organization Theory
Keywords: Bowen's systems theory, Family firm, Lewin's systems theory, Organizational leadership
Publication Number: 3640146
ISBN: 978-1-321-25308-5
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