Journal of Business Ethics 106 (4):503-517 (2012)

Abstract
Family firm leaders acting as stewards of a close-knit enterprise may attempt to build a positive atmosphere of trust, clarity, and cohesiveness in the firm’s operation. Yet, conditions unique to family firms may lead some family members to develop a heightened sense of entitlement and weaker bonds to the organization. This creates conditions for a Fredo effect, where a family member’s incompetence, opportunistic behaviors, and/or ethically dubious actions can impede the firm’s success, potentially resulting in a scandal that could lead to the firm’s demise and negative economic impact on employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Surveying 147 family-firm members, we examine the role that linkages among perceptions of family harmony norms, distributive fairness, role ambiguity, and relationship conflict play in the emergence of a family member who acts as an impediment to the firm, which can be manifested in damaging unethical behaviors. As hypothesized, family harmony norms and fairness perceptions are negatively related to family impediment, while role ambiguity is positively related to family impediment. However, relationship conflict mediates these connections, underscoring the potential damage this type of conflict can create in a family firm, even if leaders of the firm attempt to establish conditions that reflect a stewardship approach to firm governance. We discuss how these findings impact the development of an ethical climate in the family firm and the implications for family business survival or scandal
Keywords Family firms  Deviant behavior  Ethical climate  Relationship conflict  Family harmony norms
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-1014-7
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,707
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Corporate Social Performance in Family Firms.Sara A. Morris - 2005 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:154-159.
Drivers of Sustainability Strategy in Family Firms.Sanjay Sharma - 2009 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:194-205.
Family Pyramidal Holdings and Board of Directors.Najah Attig - 2007 - International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 3 (4):394-406.
Family Resemblances and Criteria.Heather J. Gert - 1995 - Synthese 105 (2):177-190.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-09-15

Total views
32 ( #302,672 of 2,333,192 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #587,885 of 2,333,192 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes