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Work packages

The research project consists of four work packages which, together, provide an all-in overview of strategic changes in family firms.

The four main topics or so-called work packages that make up this research project are the following:

Control Systems

In this work package, we study how and when Management Control Systems (MCS) influence the knowledge management of family firms in such a way that new strategies are discovered, initiated, and successfully implemented. The main research questions that are asked in this work package are: Do family firms need different MCS at various stages of the strategy process? Is the relationship between characteristics of MCS, knowledge management, capacity building and strategic change context dependent? What are the antecedents of knowledge purchases in family firms? Which combination of internal knowledge building and purchasing external knowledge leads to knowledge generation that supports strategic change and stimulates the willingness to change?


In this work package, we investigate how non-financial objectives, learning frameworks, emotional climates and a culture of organizational learning influence strategic readiness to change. The central research questions are: How do actors in family firms develop willingness for strategic change and what are the main influences and catalysts? How do learning frameworks influence individual cognitive and affective willingness to change? How does the way in which leaders frame new situations affect willingness to change? How does an "affective climate" develop and influence cognitive and affective willingness to change at the group level? What (promoting/inhibiting) roles do leaders play?


This part of the research project examines the interactions between family firm ownership, management and the board of directors, and the influence of these interrelated governance mechanisms on strategic change. The key questions are: How do the relationships between top management teams and boards of directors influence strategic change in family firms? What is the role of family governance mechanisms and how do they interact with other governance structures in facilitating strategic change? What is the role of context factors?


This part focuses on the role and impact of financing constraints in strategic change processes, both from a supply and demand perspective. Alternative funding sources to initiate and implement strategic change and potential bottlenecks are studied. Attention is also paid to generational differences. Exploring strategic change from these diverse perspectives provides an overarching scientific framework on strategic change and change readiness in family firms and forms the basis for the project's many valorisation actions.

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