Annika Hall (2003)

Strategising in the context of genuine relations: An interpretative study of strategic renewal through family interactions

This thesis is concerned with strategising in the context of genuine relations. Every- day family interactions, and their related strategic outcomes for the family business are in focus. Through an interpretative, in-depth study of three second- generation family businesses the thesis explores strategising based on the paradox of identity, i. e. family members’ simultaneous needs for separation and belonging, inherent in the family system. The interplay of these needs ascribes two extended meanings to the businesses, business as a means of individuation, and business as an extension of the family and its core values.

These meanings render the family businesses a dynamics with mutually reinforcing implications for the individual and the organisation, conceptualised as concern-based individuation, and focused strategic renewal. These concepts give an understanding of strategising as originating in family interactions.To sustain focused strategic renewal over time, the family business is required to meet the inherent challenges of role transition, i. e. the exit and entry of roles. For family members, the enactment of top management roles in the family business seems to be an important means of fulfilment of the needs of separation and belonging. Unless this is recognized and taken into consideration, role transition is likely to be more difficult, and even shunned.

As a consequence, strategic renewal might be impeded. The thesis emphasises the inherent social character of role transition processes, and puts forward role clarification as a central means of facilitating the exit and entry of roles.Understanding the interactive dimension of strategising in the context of genuine relations requires an in- depth understanding of the interplay between the individual, the group, i. e. the family, and the organisation.