Exploring the Presence of Family Culture of Influence, Commitment and Values in Family Businesses: The Gender Factor

Bamidele Wale-Oshinowo Ph.D.


This paper provides a review of key literature in the field of family business and identifies the need to examine family culture as a key component of family involvement in a firm. It further considers the role of gender in enhancing family culture in small family businesses. The argument in the literature is that the presence of a strong family culture in a firm would enhance its strategic position and flexibility (Zahra, Hayton, Neubaum, Dibrell, and Craig, 2008). Strategic flexibility, a term that is usually associated with strategic decision making, would position a firm to respond proactively to unpredictable changes in their environmentand this would in turn lead to a competitive advantage for the firm (Chakravarthy, 1986). To this end, we propose that the presence of family culture in family firms may therefore be important for their growth and survivalwhile also having a significant effect on their performance. Drawing on the Resource-Based View theory, this paper seeks to contribute to the literature by examining the presence of family culture of commitment and values in family businesses; and its influence on gender using an under-researched context, Nigeria. Employing the quantitative approach, the study finds that all our sampled 237 family firms showed a high level of family culturein them. However, the more interesting finding is the stronger influence of women in promoting family culture despite the significant difference between the population of men and women owners/managers in the sampled firms.

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