“Can you tell me about the future?” A narrative of the goal-setting process in family business

  • Bice Della Piana University of Salemo
  • Alessandra Vecchi University of Bologna
  • Vittoria Marino University of Salerno
  • Mario D'Arco University of Salerno
Keywords: Goal setting process, Family business, Growth Strategy, Narrative analysis


By relying on the taxonomy introduced by Kotlar and De Massis (2013), the present study proposes to investigate the dynamics and the set of goals perceived by the family members strategic for the future growth of their family business. Using an interview approach, the researchers recorded the professional stories of 15 family firm owners and managers. Through the interpretation of the narrative material emerged that the interviewees never mentioned the role that family-centred non-economic goals (i.e., ‘family harmony’, the ‘family social status’ and ‘the family identity’) plays in the performance of the family firms. Contrary, non-family non-economic goals, such as innovation and internationalisation, are considered two keys growth drivers. In particular, if both innovation and internationalisation have equal importance amongst the current goals, internationalisation assumes a greater importance in relation to the future goals of growth.


Keywords: Goal setting process; Family business; Growth Strategy; Narrative analysis


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