This seminar will be presented by Natalie Rauschendorfer, Research Fellow at Friedrichshafen Institute for Family Entrepreneurship (FIF), Zeppelin University in Germany.
Tough on the outside, soft on the inside
the perception of signaling the family firm status in a consulting context
Natalie Rauschendorfer, Zeppelin University
Reinhard Prügl, Zeppelin University
Max Lude, Zeppelin University
September 30, 12:00-13:00 CET
Abstract: This work examines the consultants’ perception of family firms. Drawing on signaling theory, we investigated the impact of signaling the family firm status on the perception of consultants and how this affects their decision-making to work with family firms. To this end, we conducted an explorative choice experiment with N=179 consultants and collected qualitative data on the consultant’s motives to work with family firms to better understand the underlying cognitive mechanisms potentially explaining the results of the choice experiment. The results reveal empirical evidence of a bias towards family firms. In other words: consultants seem to favor family firms as clients over their non-family counterparts. Based on the qualitative data we were able to discover reasons for this finding and explore major decision criteria in favor or against family firms as clients of consultants.