One for all, all for one:a mutual gains perspective on HRM and innovation management practices in family firms

Rondi, Emanuela and Ueberbacher, R and von Schlenk-Barnsdorf, L and De Massis, Alfredo and Huelsbeck, M (2022) One for all, all for one:a mutual gains perspective on HRM and innovation management practices in family firms. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 13 (2). ISSN 1877-8585

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The aspiration to thrive in the long run is among the most distinctive traits of family firms. On the one hand, a long-term view can spur the family firm to plan and secure its human resources (HR), thereby attracting local employees seeking stability, and retaining them for decades. On the other hand, low employee turnover can be a barrier to innovation, which is needed to survive and compete in the long run. Nevertheless, numerous family firms are renowned for being simultaneously excellent employers and outstanding innovators. Therefore, how can a long-term oriented family firm nurture its employees while pursuing innovation? We conducted a longitudinal case study on Carl Schlenk AG, a fourth-generation family firm consistently awarded for both its HR management (HRM) and innovation initiatives. Our investigation led us to identify distinct family firm characteristics of credibility, solidarity, and loyalty which engender a unique virtuous cycle of reciprocal reinforcement between sophisticated HRM and innovation practices, ultimately fostering mutual gains for the family firm and its employees. We offer contributions to HRM and innovation management research in the context of family firms and beyond.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Family Business Strategy
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Family Business Strategy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Family Business Strategy, 13, 100394, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfbs.2020.100394
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25 Jan 2021 11:50
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:01