Family businesses responses to uncertainty: leveraging slack resources to build resilience
Family businesses responses to uncertainty: leveraging slack resources to build resilienceELISA CONZ - GIOVANNA MAGNANI - ANTONELLA ZUCCHELLA
Objectives. The study explores the resilient responses of family businesses in coping with Covid-19’s restrictions, in comparison to non-family businesses. It focuses on how entrepreneurs leveraged slack resources to build resilience and turn adversities into opportunities.
Methodology. A multiple inductive case study of nine Italian family and non-family firms has been adopted to explore the argument.
Findings. Four key resilient responses towards the pandemic emerged: “waiting and seeing”, “keeping business as usual”, “striving to resist” and “surfing the pandemic”.
Originality of the study. In contrast with few extant studies, we suggest the endowment of slack – especially financial – is not always an enabler of resilience under conditions of uncertainty. It is the versatility of multiple typologies of slack and the entrepreneurial attitude, rather than the sole availability of latent (financial) resources, that allows resources’ redeployment to provide a resilient response and capture new entrepreneurial opportunities. The familiness, despite fostering resilience for certain family firms, does not represent a key determinant of the superior resilient performance of family firms compared to non-families.
Research limits. The main limitation of the study might be represented by the limited considerations on the role of the industry in shaping the resilient responses of selected firms.#Covid-19 #entrepreneurship #family business #Resilience #slack #versatility