Adapt or Perish ! A Systematic Review of the Literature on Strategic Renewal and the Family Firm


  • Remedios Hernández Linares University of Extremadura, Spain Spain
  • Triana Arias-Abelaira University of Extremadura, Spain Spain



Family firm, Literature Review, Strategic, Renewal


The objective of this paper is to examine the current state of strategic renewal research in family businesses, identifying the main research gaps and providing a path for future research to the academics. To do so, we have performed a systematic and comprehensive review of 21 studies (20 articles and 1 book chapter) about strategic renewal and family business published between 2009 and 2022. Our comprehensive analysis reveals that the majority of studies to date are empirical studies that have focused on the strategic renewal’s antecedents, while the strategic renewal’s outcomes remain unexplored. This and other significant research gaps are identified and discussed in this review, which emphasizes the need for further research about the topic.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the present literature review.

*Abdelgawad, S. G., & Zahra, S. A. (2020). Family firms’ religious identity and strategic renewal. Journal of Business Ethics, 163(4), 775–787.

Akhter, N., Sieger, P., & Chirico, F. (2016). If we can't have it, then no one should: Shutting down versus selling in family business portfolios. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 10(4), 371-394.

Albert, D., Kreutzer, M., & Lechner, C. (2015). Resolving the paradox of interdependency and strategic renewal in activity systems. Academy of Management Review, 40(2), 210–234.

Albert, S., & Whetten, D. A. (1985). Organizational identity. Research in Organizational Behavior, 7, 263–295.

*Anggadwita, G., Permatasari, A., Alamanda, D. T., & Profityo, W. B. (2022). Exploring women's initiatives for family business resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Family Business Management, (ahead-of-print).

Aparicio, G., Ramos, E., Casillas, J. C., Iturralde, T. (2021). Family business research in the last decade. A bibliometric review. European Journal of Family Business, 11(1), 33-44.

*Au, K., Han, S., & Chung, H.-M. (2018). The impact of sociocultural context on strategic renewal: a twenty-six nations analysis of family firms. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 25(4), 604-627.

Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99–120.

Barrett, M. (2014). Theories to define and understand family firms. In H. Hasan (ed.), Being practical with theory: a window into business research. Wollongong.

Bauweraerts, J., Rondi, E., Rovelli, P., De Massis, A., & Sciascia, S. (2022). Are family female directors catalysts of innovation in family small and medium enterprises? Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 16(2), 314-354.

Berrone, P., Cruz, C., & Gómez-Mejía, L. R. (2012). Socioemotional wealth in family firms: theoretical dimensions, assessment approaches, and agenda for future research. Family Business Review, 25(3), 258–279.

Brigham, K. H., Lumpkin, G. T., Payne G. Y., & Zachary, M. A. (2015). Researching long-term orientation. A validation study and recommendations for future research. Family Business Review, 27(1), 72–88.

Burgelman, R. A. (1983). Corporate entrepreneurship and strategic management: insights from a process study. Management Science, 29(12), 1349–1364.

Burgelman, R. A. (1991). Intraorganizational ecology of strategy making and organizational adaptation: theory and field research. Organization Science, 2(3), 239-262.

Burgers, J. H., & Covin, J. G. (2016). The contingent effects of differentiation and integration on corporate entrepreneurship. Strategic Management Journal, 37(3), 521–540.

Cabrera?Suárez, K., De Saá?Pérez, P., & García?Almeida, D. (2001). The succession process from a resource?and knowledge?based view of the family firm. Family Business Review, 14(1), 37-48.

Calabrò, A., Vecchiarini, M., Gast, J., Campopiano, G., De Massis, A., & Kraus, S. (2019). Innovation in family firms: a systematic literature review and guidance for future research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 21(3), 317-355.

Carnahan, S. (2017). Blocked but not tackled: who founds new firms when rivals dissolve? Strategic Management Journal, 38(11), 2189-2212.

Casson, M. (1999). The economics of the family firm. Scandinavian Economic History Review, 47(1), 10–23.

Chartered Association of Business Schools (2021). Academic Journal Guide 2021. Available at (accessed 19 October 2022).

Chen, T., Hu, W., Shi, Q., & Yan, H. (2007). Embedded education for Computer Rank Examination. 2007 International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 1–4.

Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., Pearson, A. W., & Barnett, T. (2012). Family involvement, family influence, and family-centered non-economic goals in small firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(2), 267-293.

Chua, J. H., Chrisman, J. J., & Sharma, P. (1999). Defining the family business by behavior. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 23(4), 19–39.

Corona, J. (2021). Succession in the family business: the great challenge for the family. European Journal of Family Business, 11(1), 64-70.

Corrales-Villegas, S. A., Ochoa-Jiménez, S., & Jacobo-Hernández, C. A. (2019). Leadership in the family business in relation to the desirable attributes for the successor: evidence from Mexico. European Journal of Family Business, 8(2), 117-128.

Creevey, D., Coughlan, J., & O'Connor, C. (2022). Social media and luxury: a systematic literature review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 24(1), 99-129.

Crossan, M. M., Lane, H. W., & White, R. E. (1999). An organizational learning framework: From intuition to institution. The Academy of Management Review, 24(3), 522–537.

*Cucculelli, M., le Breton-Miller, I., & Miller, D. (2016). Product innovation, firm renewal and family governance. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 7(2), 90–104.

Danes, S. M., & Brewton, K. E. (2012). Follow the capital: benefits of tracking family capital across family and business systems. In Understanding family businesses (pp. 227–250). Springer.

De Massis, A., Frattini, F., & Lichtenthaler, U. (2013). Research on technological innovation in family firms: present debates and future directions. Family Business Review, 26(1), 10–31.

De Massis, A., Frattini, F., Majocchi, A., & Piscitello, L. (2018). Family firms in the global economy: toward a deeper understanding of internationalization determinants, processes, and outcomes. Global Strategy Journal, 8(1), 3–21.

Dess, G. G., Ireland, R. D., Zahra, S. A., Floyd, S. W., Janney, J. J., & Lane, P. J. (2003). Emerging issues in corporate entrepreneurship. Journal of Management, 29(3), 351-378.

DeTienne, D. R., & Chirico, F. (2013). Exit strategies in family firms: How socioemotional wealth drives the threshold of performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(6), 1297-1318.

*Di Toma, P. (2012). Strategic dynamics and corporate governance effectiveness in a family firm. Corporate Ownership & Control, 10(1), 34–43.

Diaz-Moriana, V., Hogan, T., Clinton, E., & Brophy, M. (2019). Defining family business: a closer look at definitional heterogeneity, in E. Memilli & C. Dibrell (eds), The Palgrave of heterogeneity among family firms (pp 333-374). US: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dinh, T. Q., & Calabrò, A. (2019). Asian family firms through corporate governance and institutions: a systematic review of the literature and agenda for future research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 21(1), 50–75.

Do, T. T. P., & Luu, D. T. (2020). Origins and consequences of intrapreneurship with behaviour-based approach among employees in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32(12), 3949-3969. https://10.1108/IJCHM-05-2020-0491

Dyer, W. G. (2021). My forty years in studying and helping family businesses. European Journal of Family Business, 11(1), 56-63.

Eddleston, K. A., Kellermanns, F. W., & Zellweger, T. M. (2012). Exploring the entrepreneurial behavior of family firms: does the stewardship perspective explain differences? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(2), 347-367.

Gascón, S. A. (2013). Conflictos en empresas familiares. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Facultad de Ciencias Económicas.

Gast, J., Filser, M., Rigtering, J. C., Harms, R., Kraus, S., & Chang, M. L. (2018). Socioemotional wealth and innovativeness in small?and medium?sized family enterprises: a configuration approach. Journal of Small Business Management, 56(S1), 53-67.

Gawke, J. C., Gorgievski, M. J., & Bakker, A. B. (2019). Measuring intrapreneurship at the individual level: development and validation of the Employee Intrapreneurship Scale (EIS). European Management Journal, 37(6), 806–817. 01

Ge, B., & Campopiano, G. (2021). Knowledge management in family business succession: current trends and future directions. Journal of Knowledge Management, 26(2), 326-349.

Gentry, R., Dibrell, C., & Kim, J. (2016). Long-term orientation in publicly traded family businesses: evidence of a dominant logic. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 40(4), 733-757.

Ghee, W., Ibrahim, M., & Abdul-Halim, H. (2015). Family business succession planning: unleashing the key factors of business performance. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 20(2), 103-126.

*Giang, H. T. T., & Dung, L. T. (2021). Transformational leadership and non-family employee intrapreneurial behaviour in family-owned firms: the mediating role of adaptive culture and psychological empowerment. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 42(8), 1185-1205.

Gómez-Mejía, L. R., Haynes, K. T., Núnez-Nickel, M., Jacobson, K. J., & Moyano-Fuentes, J. (2007). Socioemotional wealth and business risks in family-controlled firms: evidence from Spanish olive oil mills. Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(1), 106–137.

Gottardo, P., & Moisello, A. M. (2015). The impact of socioemotional wealth on family firms’ financial performance. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 13(1), 67–77.

Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481-510. (Accessed 19 Dec. 2022).

Habbershon, T. G., & Williams, M. L. (1999). A resource?based framework for assessing the strategic advantages of family firms. Family Business Review, 12(1), 1–25.

Handler, W. C. (1992). The succession experience of the next generation. Family Business Review, 5(3), 283–307.

Handler Miller, C. (2008). Tales from the digital frontier: breakthroughs in storytelling. Writers Store. 2008.

Hernández-Linares, R., Diaz-Moriana, V., & Sanchez-Famoso,V. (2022). Managing paradoxes in family firms: a closer look at public politics in Spain. In O. J. Montiel, S. Tomaselli, & A. Soto (eds.). Family business debates: multidimensional perspectives across countries, continents and geo-political frontiers. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Hernández-Linares, R., & López-Fernández, M. C. (2018). Entrepreneurial orientation and the family firm: mapping the field and tracing a path for future research. Family Business Review, 31(3), 318–351.

Hernández-Linares, R., Sarkar, S., & Cobo, M. J. (2018). Inspecting the Achilles heel: a quantitative analysis of 50 years of family business definitions. Scientometrics, 115(2), 929-951.

Hernández-Linares, R., Sarkar, S., & López-Fernández, M. C. (2017). How has the family firm literature addressed its heterogeneity through classification systems? An integrated analysis. European Journal of Family Business, 7(1-2), 1-13.

Hill, R., & Duvall, E. (1948). Families under stress. New York, NY: Harper.

*Huynh, G. T. T. (2021). The effect of transformational leadership on nonfamily international intrapreneurship behavior in family firms: the mediating role of psychological empowerment. Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies, 28(3), 204-224.

*Issah, W. B., Anwar, M., Clauss, T., & Kraus, S. (2023). Managerial capabilities and strategic renewal in family firms in crisis situations: the moderating role of the founding generation. Journal of Business Research, 156, 113486.

Jaskiewicz, P., Combs, J. G., & Rau, S. B. (2015). Entrepreneurial legacy: toward a theory of how some family firms nurture transgenerational entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(1), 29-49.

Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. (1976). Theory of the firm: managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3(4), 305–360.

*Jones, O., Ghobadian, A., O’Regan, N., & Antcliff, V. (2013). Dynamic capabilities in a sixth-generation family firm: entrepreneurship and the Bibby Line. Business History, 55(6), 910–941.

Kearney, C., & Morris, M. H. (2015). Strategic renewal as a mediator of environmental effects on public sector performance. Small Business Economics, 45(2), 425-445.

Kellermanns, F. W., Eddleston, K. A., Barnett, T., & Pearson, A. (2008). An exploratory study of family member characteristics and involvement: effects on entrepreneurial behavior in the family firm. Family Business Review, 21(1), 1-14.

Kellermanns, F. W., Eddleston, K. A., & Zellweger, T. M. (2012). Extending the socioemotional wealth perspective: a look at the dark side. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(6), 1175-1182.

Kepner, E. (1991). The family and the firm: a coevolutionary perspective. Family Business Review, 4(4), 445– 461.

Klammer, A., Gueldenberg, S., Kraus, S., & O’Dwyer, M. (2017) . To change or not to change–antecedents and outcomes of strategic renewal in SMEs. International Entrepreneurship Management Journal, 13, 739–756.

Kotlar, J., & De Massis, A. (2013). Goal setting in family firms: goal diversity, social interactions, and collective commitment to family-centered goals. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(6), 1263-1288.

Landström, H., Åström, F., & Harirchi, G. (2015). Innovation and entrepreneurship studies: one or two fields of research? International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 11(3), 493–509.

Leonard?Barton, D. (1992). Core capabilities and core rigidities: A paradox in managing new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 13(S1), 111-125.

Liebowitz, S. J., & Margolis, S. E. (1995). Path dependence, lock-in, and history. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 11(1), 205-226.

*Lionzo, A., & Rossignoli, F. (2013). Knowledge integration in family SMEs: an extension of the 4I model. Journal of Management and Governance, 17(3), 583-608.

López-Fernández, M. C., Serrano-Bedia, A. M., & Pérez-Pérez, M. (2016). Entrepreneurship and family firm research: a bibliometric analysis of an emerging field. Journal of Small Business Management, 54(2), 622–639.

Lorenzo-Gómez, J. D. (2020). Barriers to change in family businesses. European Journal of Family Business, 10(1), 54-63.

Lumpkin, G. T., Brigham, K. H., & Moss, T. W. (2010). Long-term orientation: implications for the entrepreneurial orientation and performance of family businesses. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 22(3/4), 241-264.

*Luu, T. D. (2022). Non-family employee strategic renewal in family firms: the transformational leadership role of family board members and psychological ownership. Journal of Family Business Management.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C., Sillince, J. A., & Golant, B. D. (2018). Intertextuality, rhetorical history and the uses of the past in organizational transition. Organization Studies, 39(12), 1733-1755.

March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1989). Rediscovering institutions. New York.

March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (2010). Rediscovering institutions: The organizational base of politics. Simon and Schuster.

Mariani, M. M., Al-Sultan, K., & De Massis, A. (2021). Corporate social responsibility in family firms: a systematic literature review. Journal of Small Business Management.

Meroño-Cerdán, A. L. (2017). Perceived benefits of and barriers to the adoption of teleworking: peculiarities of Spanish family firms. Behaviour & Information Technology, 36(1), 63-74.

Miller, D., & Le Breton-Miller, I. (2005). Managing for the long run: lessons in competitive advantage from great family businesses. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

*Mitchell, J. R., Hart, T. A., Valcea, S., & Townsend, D. M. (2009). Becoming the boss: discretion and postsuccession success in family firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(6), 1201–1218.

Moreno-Menéndez, A. M., Castiglioni, M., & Cobeña-Ruiz-Lopera, M. M. (2021). The influence of socio-emotional wealth on the speed of the export development process in family and non-family firms. European Journal of Family Business, 11(2), 10-25.

*Mzid, I., Khachlouf, N., & Soparnot, R. (2019). How does family capital influence the resilience of family firms? Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 17(2), 249–277.

*Németh, K., Ilyés, C., & Németh, S. (2017). Intergenerational succession (generational change): strategic renewal? The emergence of familiness in the business life of Dudits hotels. Strategic Management, 22(1), 30–43.

*Pérez-Pérez, M., & Hernández-Linares, R. (2020). Commitment to learning, knowledge, and strategic renewal: do family firms manage them differently? In J. M. Sainz-Álvarez, J. Leitão, & J. M. Palma-Ruiz (eds.). Entrepreneurship and Family Business Vitality (pp. 177–203). Springer.

*Pérez-Pérez, M., López-Férnandez, M. C., & Obeso, M. (2019). Knowledge, renewal and flexibility: exploratory research in family firms. Administrative Sciences, 9(4), 87.

*Randolph, R. V., Li, Z., & Daspit, J. J. (2017). Toward a typology of family firm corporate entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business Management, 55(4), 530–546.

Ratten, V. (2020). Coronavirus and international business: an entrepreneurial ecosystem perspective. Thunderbird International Business Review, 62(5), 629–634.

Ren, C. R., Hu, Y., & Cui, T. H. (2019). Responses to rival exit: product variety, market expansion, and preexisting market structure. Strategic Management Journal, 40(2), 253-276.

Schmitt, A., Raisch, S., & Volberda, H. W. (2018). Strategic renewal: past research, theoretical tensions and future challenges. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(1), 81–98.

*Sievinen, H. M., Ikäheimonen, T., & Pihkala, T. (2020a). Owners’ rule-based decision-making in family firm strategic renewal. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 36(3), 101119.

*Sievinen, H. M., Ikäheimonen, T., & Pihkala, T. (2020b). Strategic renewal in a mature family-owned company–A resource role of the owners. Long Range Planning, 53(2), 101864.

*Sievinen, H. M., Ikäheimonen, T., & Pihkala, T. (2020c). The advisory role of non-family board members: a case-based study of a family firm. Journal of Management and Governance, 24(4), 871–903.

Simsek, Z., Veiga, J. F., & Lubatkin, M. H. (2007). The impact of managerial environmental perceptions on corporate entrepreneurship: towards understanding discretionary slack's pivotal role. Journal of Management Studies, 44(8), 1398-1424.

Stamm, I., & Lubinski, C. (2011). Crossroads of family business research and firm demography—A critical assessment of family business survival rates. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2(3), 117-127.

Su, E., & Daspit, J. (2021). Knowledge management in family firms: a systematic review, integrated insights and future research opportunities. Journal of Knowledge Management, 26(2), 291-325.

Sutton, R. I., & Staw, B. M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(3), 371–384.

Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509-533.<509::AID-SMJ882>3.0.CO;2-Z

Tranfield, D., Denyer, D., & Smart, P. (2003). Towards a methodology for developing evidence-informed management knowledge by means of systematic review. British Journal of Management, 14(3), 207–222.

Wadhwani, R. D., Suddaby, R., Mordhorst, M., & Popp, A. (2018). History as organizing: uses of the past in organization studies. Organization Studies, 39(12), 1663-1683.

*Weimann, V., Gerken, M., & Hülsbeck, M. (2021). Old flames never die – the role of binding social ties for corporate entrepreneurship in family firms. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 17(4), 1707–1730.

Wood, R., & Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory of organizational management. Academy of Management Review, 14(3), 361-384.

Zahra, S. A. (1991). Predictors and financial outcomes of corporate entrepreneurship: an exploratory study. Journal of Business Venturing, 6(4), 259-285.

Zahra, S. A. (1993). Environment, corporate entrepreneurship, and financial performance: a taxonomic approach. Journal of Business Venturing, 8(4), 295-376.

Zahra, S. A. (1996). Governance, ownership, and corporate entrepreneurship: the moderating impact of industry technological opportunities. Academy of Management Journal, 39(6), 1713–1735.

Zahra, S. A., Hayton, J. C., & Salvato, C. (2004). Entrepreneurship in family vs. non-family firms: a resource-based analysis of the effect of organizational culture. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(4), 363-381.




How to Cite

Hernández Linares, R., & Arias-Abelaira, T. (2022). Adapt or Perish ! A Systematic Review of the Literature on Strategic Renewal and the Family Firm: . European Journal of Family Business, 12(2), 137–155.



Research article (SI)

Similar Articles

1 2 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.