Quotation Hasenzagl, Rupert , Hatak, Isabella, Frank, Hermann. 2018. Problematizing Socioemotional Wealth in Family Firms: A systems-theoretical Reframing. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 30 (1-2), 199-223.




The concept of socioemotional wealth (SEW) seeks to present an independent paradigmatic basis for family-firm research, and in doing so aims to establish a sound basis for the scientific legitimacy of family-firm research. Establishing that legitimacy requires scholars to demonstrate that SEW is based on coherent assumptions on several theoretical levels. This paper uses the problematization methodology to challenge the coherence of the theoretical assumptions underpinning SEW and to advance theory development. The results of this problematization show that SEW is built on a theoretical level close to the object of research (in-house assumptions), but that more deeply-rooted theoretical levels (e.g. paradigmatic assumptions) are not sufficiently elaborated. Moreover, the original conceptualization is based on a positivist-mechanistic view, which hinders SEW reflecting the complex reality of family firms. Based on the results of this problematization, new systems theory is applied to reframe SEW’s theoretical grounding. Thereby the main contribution of the paper is a critical reflection on the theoretical underpinnings of SEW (in particular root-metaphor and paradigmatic assumptions), serving as the basis for advancing a coherent theoretical understanding of this important concept in family business research.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-B, VW-C, WH-B
Language English
Title Problematizing Socioemotional Wealth in Family Firms: A systems-theoretical Reframing
Volume 30
Number 1-2
Year 2018
Page from 199
Page to 223
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/08985626.2017.1401123
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08985626.2017.1401123


Frank, Hermann (Details)
Hasenzagl, Rupert (AKAD University, Germany)
Hatak, Isabella (Unversität Twente, Netherlands)
Institute for Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship IN (Details)
Research Institute for Family Business FI (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5314 Trade Research (Details)
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5333 Business management (Details)
5350 Innovation research (Details)
5352 Human resource management, personnel management (Details)
5357 Management consulting (Details)
5359 Controlling (Details)
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