CeFEO researchers granted 4 960 000 SEK from Swedish Research Council

Ethel Brundin and Markus Plate

Professor Ethel Brundin and Assistant Professor Markus Plate at Jönköping International Business School and the Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership have received a substantial research grant for their project Trans-generational continuity of the owning family: identity formation, relationship dynamics and emotional influence.

This project investigates the interplay of identity, self-conscious emotions, and relationships within the family business context. The focus will lie on the owning family and its striving for trans-generational prosperity.

The hypothesis is that matters of identity (especially owner identity), family relationships, and the accompanying self-conscious emotions have a tremendous impact on whether and how family members commit to the business, and how relationships influence the decision-making capability of the owning family.

The researchers will apply an individual perspective over time (identity formation over the life path) and a family perspective (present family dynamics and family functioning) and a research framework that links self-conscious emotions (pride, shame, jealousy e.g.), identity and relationships, and its implications for trans-generational continuity of the family business. In this framework, they will show how identity is created in relationships (and vice versa) and argue that the formation of a functional owner identity, a system of healthy relationships and a constructive handling of self-conscious emotions can be seen as the socio-psychological foundation of what might be named “professional ownership”.