Reasons for Work Performance in Family Businesses: Opinions of Non-Family-Member-Employees, Family-Member-Employees, and Managements

Addae-Boateng, Samuel, Xiao, Wen, Brew, Yaw


Family businesses are disparate from other forms of businesses because of their stakeholder constituent (i.e. the relationship between family members as owners, top management, board of directors, employees); the emotional attachment to their ownership and ambivalence; duality of goals, i.e. economic and non-economic; a shared sense of identity and a lifelong common history for family-member-employees, which influences their behaviours both on the job and off the job; and the different means used in their communication, documentation, conflict resolution, etc. Therefore in family businesses where some employees are part of the owning family as well, the factors that may motivate such family-member-employees to work may be quite different from those that may motivate workers or employees who are not part of the owning family to work.  In this research, we directly asked workers in a family business (categorized into family-member-employees and non-family-member-employees, managers and CEOs) to indicate the reasons for work performances within the family business.  The results of the survey showed that, amidst other important factors, the only factor that every group of respondents mentioned as directly contributing to work performance in a family business, regardless of what category of employee one is, is the tying of rewards to performance or productivity.

Keywords: Performance, family business, Ambivalence, Job performance

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