Behavioral Antecedents of R&D Investments: Strategic Reference Points in Family and Non-Family Firms
De Massis A
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This study developed and tested a conceptual model explaining differences between family and non-family firms as to how they respond to feedback information from their organization and competitive environment. The strategic reference point theory and prior research on family firms offer a plausible explanation for these structural differences. The empirical analysis was conducted with panel data on R&D investments of 437 private manufacturing firms. The results show that, compared to non- family firms, family firms are more responsive to internal strategic inputs and outputs, downplay external performance comparisons but are responsive to market share competition, and increase drastically R&D in response to power gains by their customers and suppliers. Overall, the study offer insights into the circumstances under which family goals cope or collide with the economic goals of the firm, which contributes explaining heterogeneity of family firms behavior, and it also has implications for capturing the structure of reference points in behavioral theory.
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