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.
|Advisor:||Moore-West, Maggie, Abel, Richard|
|School:||Franklin Pierce University|
|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|
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