Get the Girl a Brewery, Now! A Thematic Analysis of Organisational Ambidexterity in Family Businesses
This study examines organisational ambidexterity in the context of a family firm, where socioemotional wealth is used as a framework for capturing dynamics inherent to family businesses. The purpose of the study is to explore the relationship between a family firm’s emphasis on socioemotional wealth and its ability to achieve organisational ambidexterity. Although there are studies that suggest the presence of higher levels of ambidexterity in family firms, no studies have previously applied the socioemotional wealth framework in the context of organisational ambidexterity. Thereto, no previous studies have provided an explanation as to why there seems to exist a positive relationship between family ownership and organisational ambidexterity. The empirical data of the study consists of interviews with two case companies that are wholly owned and operated by the owner family. The interview data has been processed using thematic analysis. The results are structured around three main themes, decision-making process, motives guiding strategy, and corporate culture, as well as seven subthemes, that were found prominent in the interview material. The themes have served as the basis for five propositions that centre on the connection between socioemotional wealth and its impact on organisational ambidexterity. Finally, we conclude that socioemotional wealth has both positive and negative impact on organisational ambidexterity in the context of the two case companies. The study contributes to the fields of organisational ambidexterity and family business through the establishment of potential connections between the two concepts, and thus sheds light on an observed, yet unexplored, topic.
MSc in Innovation and Industrial Management
Master Degree Project