If we can’t have it, then no one should: Shutting Down Versus Selling in Family Business Portfolios

Research summary How does a business family manage its business portfolio in times of declining performance to sustain the portfolio’s long-term endurance? Drawing on social identity theory and six family business portfolios from Pakistan, we find that business families may prefer to shut down a satellite business rather than sell it, which is primarily driven by identity considerations. In addition, the family’s goal to recycle the assets, the aim to restart the business later, and the increasing decline in performance are important contingency factors. This study contributes to the literature on portfolio entrepreneurship, business exit, and the enduring entrepreneurship of family firms. Managerial summary Family business managers and practitioners can benefit from our work, which provides evidence of how family firm portfolios can respond to business decline and ensure enduring entrepreneurship. Shutting down a satellite firm instead of selling it is a promising turnaround strategy that can prevent a family’s identity loss while supporting the family business portfolio’s continuity. Copyright © 2016 Strategic Management Society.

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Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Philipp Sieger
Francesco Chirico
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