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Strategic change in family firms

The research project

Nowadays, family firms, the dominant organizational form in Flanders, are confronted with an environment that is constantly changing. In order to survive and to be able to continue to distinguish themselves from the competition, it is crucial that family firms constantly reinvent themselves. However, many family firms often appear to take a rather conservative stance and are quite reluctant to implement strategic change.

Therefore, the question for academics and policymakers is under what conditions family firms can overcome this strategic inertia and can successfully change strategically. In order to answer this question, the University of Antwerp and Hasselt University have started a large-scale research project on strategic change in family firms.

From an academic point of view, this topic will be explored through four major gaps in the literature, resulting in four work packages: control systems, emotions, governance and finance. By integrating the diverse perspectives of these four work packages, an overarching scientific framework will emerge that reveals strategic change and change readiness in family firms.

In addition to an academic component, the research project consists of an important valorisation component. The ultimate goal of this project is therefore to convert the scientifically innovative insights into practical tools that are relevant for various stakeholder groups, such as policy advisory and preparatory bodies, social organizations and employer organisations.

This project is funded by the SBO program of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO).

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