Stories and Storytelling techniques have been identified as useful tools for making sense of acts and activities. They also represent an effective way for transmitting knowledge within organizations (Klein, 1998). Narratives have become gradually more visible in the social sciences (Rohdes and Brown, 2005) and have also developed into a relevant approach in management studies in areas like organization (e.g. Boje, 1995; Boyce, 1995; Czarniawska, 1998), consumer behavior (e.g. Stem et al., 1998; Woodruffe- Burton, 2001) or management learning (Davies, 1992). Although narratives has been acknowledged as such a powerful device for transmitting knowledge and values in organizations (Boje, 1995) and some studies in the entrepreneurship field have started using narratives and life stories as a research approach (e.g. Pitt, 1998; Hjorth and Steyaert, 2004; Johansson, 2004), they are still relatively under-utilized in entrepreneurship and in family business research (Hamiliton, 2006). The aim of this paper is to explore the role of narratives as a powerful device for sensemaking and meaning creation in the transmission of values and entrepreneurial behavior in family businesses. This paper uses an interpretive empirical research based on lived experiences (Burrell & Morgan, 1979; Schwandt, 2000). It relies on narratives as a way of knowing and as a form of communication. For exploring these dimensions, three Spanish family businesses have been thoroughly studied in 22 in-depth interviews. Family members in fifth, fourth, third, second and first generations were interviewed, delving a singular story of each one of the interviewees. These stories were analyzed and interpreted. The interpretation made reflects aspects of the founding of a family business across generations. Both, the values transmitted and the entrepreneurial behavior embedded are exposed. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of how values and entrepreneurial behavior are transmitted successfully throughout generations via stories and narratives that enlighten and inspire coming generations. Furthermore, it intends to highlight the importance of narratives as a device for transmitting essentials throughout generations.

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Parada Balderrama, Maria Jose; Viladas Ollé, Helena

Narratives: A powerful device for values transmission in family businesses

Stories and Storytelling techniques have been identified as useful tools for making sense of acts and activities. They also represent an effective way for transmitting knowledge within organizations (Klein, 1998). Narratives have become gradually more visible in the social sciences (Rohdes and Brown, 2005) and have also developed into a relevant approach in management studies in areas like organization (e.g. Boje, 1995; Boyce, 1995; Czarniawska, 1998), consumer behavior (e.g. Stem et al., 1998; Woodruffe- Burton, 2001) or management learning (Davies, 1992). Although narratives has been acknowledged as such a powerful device for transmitting knowledge and values in organizations (Boje, 1995) and some studies in the entrepreneurship field have started using narratives and life stories as a research approach (e.g. Pitt, 1998; Hjorth and Steyaert, 2004; Johansson, 2004), they are still relatively under-utilized in entrepreneurship and in family business research (Hamiliton, 2006). The aim of this paper is to explore the role of narratives as a powerful device for sensemaking and meaning creation in the transmission of values and entrepreneurial behavior in family businesses. This paper uses an interpretive empirical research based on lived experiences (Burrell & Morgan, 1979; Schwandt, 2000). It relies on narratives as a way of knowing and as a form of communication. For exploring these dimensions, three Spanish family businesses have been thoroughly studied in 22 in-depth interviews. Family members in fifth, fourth, third, second and first generations were interviewed, delving a singular story of each one of the interviewees. These stories were analyzed and interpreted. The interpretation made reflects aspects of the founding of a family business across generations. Both, the values transmitted and the entrepreneurial behavior embedded are exposed. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of how values and entrepreneurial behavior are transmitted successfully throughout generations via stories and narratives that enlighten and inspire coming generations. Furthermore, it intends to highlight the importance of narratives as a device for transmitting essentials throughout generations.
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Narratives: A powerful device for values transmission in family businesses
Parada Balderrama, Maria Jose; Viladas Ollé, Helena
3rd International Conference on Rethoric and Narratives in Management Research (RNMR 2011)
ESADE
Barcelona (Spain), 12/03/2009 - 14/03/2009

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