Behavioural outcomes of next-generation family members' commitment to their firm

Alexandra Dawson*, P. Gregory Irving, Pramodita Sharma, Francesco Chirico, Joel Marcus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Are there variations in behaviours and leadership styles of next-generation family members or descendants who join their family business due to different forms of commitment? Evidence from a dual respondent study of 109 Canadian and Swiss family firms suggests that descendants with affective commitment to their family firms are more likely to engage in discretionary activities going beyond the job description, thereby contributing to organizational performance. Next-generation members with normative commitment are more likely to engage in transformational leadership behaviours. Both affectively and normatively motivated next-generation members use contingent reward forms of leadership. A surprising finding of this study is the binding force of normative commitment on positive leadership behaviours of next-generation members. This study empirically tests the generalizability of the three-component model of commitment to family businesses, a context in which different forms of commitment may play a unique role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-581
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Commitment
  • Family business
  • Leadership
  • Next generation
  • Transactional leadership
  • Transformational leadership

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