Family firms' survival in an economic downturn: The role of ownership concentration and collaborative intensity

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This study examines the key topic of SME survival during an economic downturn by focusing on the role of family governance. We argue that family SMEs typically show higher levels of organizational inertia that may particularly harm their performance during an environmental jolt, while other idiosyncrasies, including greater survivability capital and owners' transgenerational sustainability intentions, enhance their odds of survival. However, we also contend that family firms are a heterogeneous group, and draw attention to the level of ownership concentration and collaborative intensity as factors likely to enhance these firms' survival. Conversely, we posit that family businesses with lower ownership concentration will benefit more from high collaborative intensity, thus suggesting the need to examine the joint survival effects of these two factors. We perform Cox survival analyses on a sample of 259 SMEs tracked from 2005 to 2019. The results offer important implications for scholars, managers, and policymakers ​
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