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The trans-generational value creation process in family business



Colombo G.


Chirico F.



While much has been written about trans-generational value creation in family business, the process through which trans-generational value is created has not been extensively studied. The general objective of this study is to fill the gap, which exists in understanding the process that leads to trans-generational value creation in family business through the lens of knowledge, dynamic capabilities and family culture.
Trans-generational value is achieved when the family firm innovates and adapts itself to the changing market. This kind of entrepreneurial performance needs dynamic capabilities as processes designed to acquire, exchange, combine and shed knowledge and capabilities; and in turn dynamic capabilities result from mechanisms of knowledge sharing, collective learning, experience accumulation and transfer.
The study encourages family businesses to enhance their own knowledge by acquiring, sharing and transferring it over time and to be more entrepreneurial in order to facilitate the combination process of resources and achieve superior performance.Our goal is to test our model empirically on a large representative sample. The random sample and its dimension will be constructed to be representative in sector, age and size class for Switzerland, Italy and Finland based on the sampling techniques illustrated by Cochran, Särndal and Deville (see Cochran, 1977, chapter 4; Deville et al., 1992, 1995; Särndal et al., 2003).
Data will be elaborated using a structural equation modelling (SEM) with a model development approach.
The research team will focus on two steps: validating the measurement model (relation between the latent variables and their indicators) and fitting the structural model (dependencies between latent and exogenous variables). Two or more alternative models (e.g. the null model) will be then compared in terms of "model fit," which will measure the extent to which the covariances predicted by the model correspond to the observed covariances in the data.
The theoretical framework and hypothesis will be integrated by the results gathered from the data elaborated which will allow us to improve the model. Our hypothesis will be empirically testable and will expand the theory and understanding of the complex dynamic process which leads to trans-generational value creation in family business.

Additional information

Start date
End date
24 Months
Funding sources
Swiss National Science Foundation / Project Funding / Humanities and social sciences (Division I)