Digital Transformations in Family Businesses

Subject: Organizational Management
Pages: 5
Words: 1169
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Master

Research Background and Purpose

The background of the study involves analyzing the importance of digitalization in family-owned businesses. The research highlights that for businesses to spread and develop in today’s dynamic business environment, it must incorporate digital infrastructure. Through various research that study characteristics of different businesses, it has been established that their characteristics may play a role in how it adopts new changes. In this case, studies have proposed that the different elements that a family business has may determine how different companies change with the current dynamic business environment. Nevertheless, the study identifies that the non-financial aspect of digital transformation in family businesses has yet to be examined.

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The aim of this research is to find out how the non-financial aspects of a family-owned business affects its digital transformation. Before pursuing any initiative in an organization, it is important to consider the model’s success and the set of values shared within the family over time. The set of values shared from generation to generation, in this case, include the non-financial aspects of the business. By researching this area of study, the study adds on the already existing pieces of research. As a result, it enables family business owners and other key shareholders comprehend the non-financial elements of digital transformation. Consequently, these businesses will be able to improve or increase their chances of survival in today’s challenging business environment.

To substantiate this research, it employs various methodologies, which accurately collect and record data. The investigational and quantitative study, controlled by an analytic deductive procedure uses multiple case studies. The multiple case studies contain four distinct cases to create a better understanding and more insight concerning digital transformation in family business. The thesis conducted its survey using eleven semi-structured interviews. Additionally, the data was analyzed and interpreted with a thematic analysis serving as its guidelines.

Findings or Results

The research finds that it is vital to understand why family business owners decide to conduct a digital transformation. The results demonstrate that family businesses decide to conduct a digital transformation to enhance their business operations. Business transformations improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization. As a result, the organization is able to save of time money and ease the workload. The study further finds that family businesses conduct a digital transformation to gain a competitive advantage over other firms and perform better than other businesses within their area of operation. Therefore, the essence of conducting digital transformations is to ensure that they improve their general business operations.

The result further shows that digital transformations provide numerous business opportunities. Before starting the process, the study demonstrates that it is essential to consider the values and traditions of the family business. It is apparent that different family businesses have different and distinct values and tradition. Most importantly, business people must comprehend how a company operates and how they link their processes to the company structure to implement the right digital transformations. The other essential factor is to convince family business owners that they need to understand that they require transformations for the process to continue without any challenges and that changes are implemented successfully.

Concerning the non-financial aspect of digital transformation, the results demonstrate that authority and influences are some of the factors that influence digital transformations. Results demonstrate that family influences every aspect of the business including the digital transformation process. Family exerts control and possesses a managerial role over the process of digital transformation. In terms of affection and engagement, it was found that family members have a unique attachment to the business. In relation to long-term orientation, the result show that most family business are long-term oriented. In this case, they preserve the business to be able to transfer its ownership along the generation of the business owner.

Theoretical Contribution

The study has numerous theoretical contributions about the importance of decision-making process. Most studies highlight the essence of fast and efficient decision-making processes because they help the business grow and thrive in today’s challenging business environment. The result show that most respondents appreciated the short and rapid process of decision-making that existed in family owned businesses. In a situation where a family owns a business, the organization not only benefits from faster decision making, but also benefits from faster adoption of digital transformation. Thus, the business gains a competitive advantage over others and it will thrive in adverse business environments.

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Another theoretical contribution is in the field of workplace inclusivity. Family involvement in business creates an environment in which everyone, regardless of their family affiliations. The research affirms this idea by adding that family organization have an open, inclusive and friendly environment that values every individual. Furthermore, the thesis adds that since every member is included within the organization, they are able to influence some decisions. As a result, these employees are more engaged and feel attached because the business environment is conducive. These theoretical contributions are essential in increasing insight concerning digital transformations. Inclusivity, in this case, makes it easy for an organization to develop through digital transformation.

Other contributions of the thesis towards the digital transformation sector concerns its challenges in the family business. One of these challenges involves the decision-making process when it comes to digital transformation. Even though the decision-making process is generally fast, the initial stage is usually slower. In most cases, family members disagree when it comes to crucial procedures of digital transformation. The other theory that the research considers is that when it comes to financial contributions, the family may take their time. The reason for this is that they may feel uncertain about the results of the digital transformation. In this case, they may decide not to transform their organization for fear of jeopardizing their finances.

Managerial Implications

The study notes that when it comes to digital transformation, family business managers are generally not willing to invest in the digital transformation process. This is mainly because of several uncertainties that are associated with the procedure. As a result, these individuals may be less willing to adopt the process despite its advantages. In the future, it is advisable that they start taking more risks to ensure that they do not remain behind. The current business environment is dynamic and includes technological developments that improve business operations. Digital transformations are a part of the baseness dynamics that ease business workload and improve efficiency.

In the future, family businesses should consider values and traditions of their employees before deciding to adopt digital transformations. For changes to occur within an organization, it is essential for managers to understand the general implications of the procedure on employees. To ensure digital transformations occur within an organization, values of employees should be taken into consideration. In this case, if the transformation process conflicts with the value of the worker, it may hinder the procedure. Similarly, digital transformations do not match the traditions of the organization, the process may be slower. Furthermore, this may affect the outcome of the process and may disrupt the development of the organization.