Informal family governance mechanisms are the self-enforcing interactions and symbols used by a business family to nurture family relationships and manage expectations. While previous research points to the positive influence of identity and career alignment on the engagement and commitment of next-generation members towards their family enterprise, it has remained unclear how this alignment develops. This exploratory study of a European business family, founded in 1826, points to informal family governance mechanisms and ownership alignment —a previously neglected phenomenon— to bind the identity and career alignment, thereby nurturing the affective commitment of offspring towards the family business. In addition to the theoretical contributions to the family governance and affective commitment literatures, this study builds usable knowledge for business families and their advisors.
- Informal family governance mechanisms
- Affective commitment
- Business families
- Pre-entry stage of succession
- Symbolic interactionism
- GOAL ALIGNMENT