Some Promising Questions for a Research Agenda on Family-Driven Innovation

(From De Massis A., Di Minin A., Frattini F. (2015). Family-Driven Innovation: Resolving the Paradox in Family Firms. California Management Review, 58(1), 1-14)

 

Fit between family willingness and innovation strategy Fit between family ability as discretion and innovation strategy Fit between family ability as resources and innovation strategy Fit between different dimensions of the innovation strategy in a particular family firm Performance implications  

of the dimensions of fit

Temporal dynamics in FDI
Which family goals increase the family firm’s propensity to pursue (i) product/service, process or business model innovation, and (ii) radical or incremental innovation? 

 

Which organizational structures, governance mechanisms and decision-making processes grant family owners the discretion to direct the family firm towards the pursuit of (i) product/service, process or business model innovation, and (ii) radical or incremental innovation? Which capabilities and resources do family owners need to direct the family firm towards the pursuit of (i) product/service, process or business model innovation, and (ii) radical or incremental innovation? 

 

In family firms pursuing a particular set of goals, is there a propensity to develop and exploit product/service, process or business model innovation with an open or a closed innovation approach? 

 

Does the pursuit of (i) product/service, process or business model innovation, and (ii) radical or incremental innovation in a family firm characterized by a particular set of goals lead to higher firm and innovation performance? In what circumstances (e.g., industry belonging, firm size, R&D intensity) and why does this relationship become stronger or weaker? How do the heterogeneity dimensions of family firms – willingness, ability as discretion and ability as resources – change over time? How does this change influence the family firm innovation paradox? 

 

Which family goals increase the family firm’s propensity to engage in open or closed innovation in the development and exploitation phases of the innovation process? 

 

Which organizational structures, governance mechanisms and decision-making processes grant family owners the discretion to direct the family firm towards using open or closed innovation in the development and exploitation phases of the innovation process? 

 

Which capabilities and resources do family owners need to direct the family firm towards using open or closed innovation in the development and exploitation phases of the innovation process? 

 

In a family firm characterized by a particular set of organizational structures, governance mechanisms and decision-making processes, is there a propensity to develop and exploit product/service, process or business model innovation by searching deep, broad or over time for the resources needed in the innovation process? 

 

Does using open or closed innovation in the development and exploitation phases of the innovation process in a family firm characterized by a particular set of organizational structures, governance mechanisms and decision-making processes lead to higher firm and innovation performance? In what circumstances (e.g., industry belonging, firm size, R&D intensity) and why does this relationship become stronger or weaker? To what extent and how do the consequences of the changing innovation paradox affect the fit mechanisms underlying FDI? In what ways, when and why does the ease of realizing FDI change over time? 

 

 

Which family goals increase the family firm’s propensity to search deep, broad and over time for the resources needed in the innovation process? 

 

Which organizational structures, governance mechanisms and decision-making processes grant family owners the discretion to direct the family firm towards searching deep, broad and over time for the resources needed in the innovation process? Which capabilities and resources do family owners need to direct the family firm towards searching deep, broad and over time for the resources needed in the innovation process? 

 

In a family firm where the owners are endowed with a particular set of capabilities and resources, is there a propensity to use an open or closed innovation approach when they search deep, broad or over time for the resources needed in the innovation process? 

 

What dysfunctional effects on firm and innovation performance arise from not adopting FDI? How do these effects manifest? Overall, what are the performance differences between firms adopting and not adopting FDI? 

 

How does intra-family (or external) succession affect the heterogeneity dimensions of family firms and the heterogeneity dimensions of innovation decisions? How does intra-family (or external) succession affect the innovation paradox and the underlying fit process that is required by FDI? Is FDI more difficult when an intra-family (or external) succession is imminent? In what ways and why?