Exploring organizational dynamics of organizational culture, entrepreneurial leadership, and strategy in small family businesses: An ethnographic collective case study

by Swank, Alan R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 202 pages; 3398344


Small family business leadership influences organizations through displays of emotion, leadership style, effective communication, love, and trust. This study explores organizational dynamics of organizational culture, entrepreneurial leadership, and strategy in small family businesses employing fewer than 20 people. Three diverse small family businesses served as the sample. Elements observed during each company's daily operations included the interaction and interconnectivity of the organizational social system components of organizational culture, entrepreneurial leadership, strategy, external environmental influences, and family business continuum. This review suggested four emergent themes: First, parental founder love and trust of offspring working in the family business influenced daily operations and succession planning. Second, organizational cultural continuum of harmony or fear may be influenced by communication effectiveness, leader emotions (positive/negative), leadership style (authentic transformational, management-by-exception-passive), and follower emotional response (positive/negative). Third, the tenet of family first, in which family has priority over profits and business assets, support family needs. Fourth, spousal commitment may initially support the life partner's business dream and later wane, based on the spouse's willingness to discontinue or interrupt his or her own life.

AdviserToni Buchsbaum Greif
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEntrepreneurship; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3398344

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