Rethinking intergenerational transitions and innovation in family firms:an intersubjective perspective

Magrelli, Vittoria (2020) Rethinking intergenerational transitions and innovation in family firms:an intersubjective perspective. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The recent shift to a knowledge-based economy and broadening generational gaps are fundamentally challenging how people manage and transfer knowledge and how they interact with each other at work. The goal of my dissertation is to capture these challenges by developing an intersubjective perspective on strategic sensemaking (i.e. sensemaking that shapes strategic choice and action). The first chapter focuses on understanding the importance of generations for management theory and the effects of intergenerational tensions on the continuity of firms. Scholars know surprisingly little about how to cope with intergenerational tensions and the burden on future generations in the managerial context. To fill this gap, I have used an abductive approach to theorize the generational brokering process that reconciles these tensions. The second chapter investigates innovation processes and search practices in the current overcrowded information age. Specifically, I use unique qualitative data to understand how the recombination of different forms of knowledge shapes the development and creation of new products in a highly innovative family firm. In the last chapter, I propose post- cognitivism as the ontoepistemological basis for a new conceptualization of strategic sensemaking and I strive for a view of embodied cognitive processes as constituted by interaction, experience and creativity, enabling and constraining strategic choice and action in organizations. Overall, I build new theoretical insights at the intersection of strategic sensemaking, organizational history and innovation theory by integrating novel findings from the family business context. With this thesis I hope to contribute to a more biological-evolutionary understanding and a less anthropocentric view of organizing.

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21 Feb 2020 16:25
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:32