Managing family business tensions: the narrative of family history

Rocio Arteaga, Timurs Umans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This study explores the family governance structures that family firms employ to manage family business tensions. Design/methodology/approach – Building on socioemotional wealth perspective and adopting a narrative methodological approach, the study analyses nine unique narratives of representatives of three Swedish family firms. Findings – The study illustrates how the hybrid arena created between formal and informal family meetings is used as a governance structure for mitigating tensions by reinforcing family relational ties. Research limitations/implications – Based on the findings, this study suggests how reliance on hybrid arena informs the field of family business management and governance and suggests future research directions. Practical implications – The findings of this study provide opportunities for family business practitioners, including owners, family members, family firm advisers and other stakeholders, to effectively manage family business tensions and foster socioemotional wealth. Originality/value – In family firms, tensions can arise due to a desire for the preservation of socioemotional wealth. The authors show that these tensions may be managed by using informal and formal family meetings that create a hybrid arena where family members separate family and business issues and emotional and rational reactions, thereby avoiding negative emotions and creating a culture of harmony within the family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-686
Number of pages17
JournalBaltic Journal of Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Economics and Business (502)


  • Family meetings
  • Family tensions
  • Narrative analysis
  • Socioemotional wealth
  • Tension management


Dive into the research topics of 'Managing family business tensions: the narrative of family history'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this