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Title: Understanding family business culture : an ethnographic perspective
Author: Hogg, Lucy Jane Campbell
ISNI:       0000 0001 3580 0938
Awarding Body: Anglia Polytechnic University
Current Institution: Anglia Ruskin University
Date of Award: 2005
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This research is concerned with developing theory to support an understanding of UK SME family business culture. A corporate model of culture does not translate into the UK SME family business sector. The corporate model is based on US cultural assumptions that do not support the distinct cultural business pattern of the UK SME of family origin. A distinct ownership pattern, existence of familial relationships and national culture affect, in particular, the way in which power can be understood within a UK SME family firm culture. An interpretative, long-term ethnographic case stUdy methodology was selected, based on an in-situ non-pre-codified design. This was selected to enable the development of theory of high relevance to the 'local' setting. An intrinsic involvement with the case, through intent to change the culture, enabled this study to be grounded in action; understanding culture demands an action-oriented approach. The design is multi-method and dialectic presented through a 'messy' text and thick description. The factual findings of the study construct a culture based on weak systems of formal power and a prevalence of politics. A TQM2 approach based on 'task-oriented' change interventions is shown to fail to bring about planned change due to their 'rule-power' oriented cultural assumptions. This study provides support for a new model of UK SME family business culture, which I.have characterised as a person-power culture. This culture is based on an ascribed-collectivist value orientation, where personal discretionary authority and politics dominate. Importantly, politics plays a functional role, its aim to support 'harmonious relationships' and allow status reaffirmation and acquisition. This thesis provides a synthesis of extant knowledge of UK family business culture, but extends and consolidates it through ethnographic cultural analysis. The thesis generates substantive theory of high relevance to UK SME family business culture. Thereby the thesis makes a contribution to both professional practice and knowledge within the domain of power and organisational culture. 1 The definition of 'family' is taken broadly as an owner-managed firm with family origins, including first and second generation family businesses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available