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Enterprising Family SMEs
As hitherto articulated, the context of this study is growth-oriented multigenerational small and medium-sized family enterprises. These enterprises are herein labelled as – Enterprising Family SMEs (E.F.SMEs). E.F.SMEs are representative of well-established growth-oriented multigenerational small and medium-sized family enterprises that ideally aim to achieve above average sustained economic rent accumulation within their operational markets. As such, they are customarily characterised by a committed devotion towards continuously enhancing sustained entrepreneurial growth. Commonly, these enterprises enhance the likelihood of achieving this inherent ambitious objective by nurturing a dedicated attitude towards exceptional long-term socio-economic orientations (throughout multiple generations) and inculcating a distinct culture that profoundly embraces innovation and entrepreneurship. In this vein, owing to the aforementioned unique characteristics, in conjunction with these enterprises’ related endogenous entrepreneurial processes (i.e., enterprise-level micro-foundations) that facilitate the building of dynamic alliance portfolio management capabilities – their likelihood to achieve sustained entrepreneurial growth in comparison to their industry counterparts/competitors could be compellingly enhanced. These industry counterparts/competitors comprise lifestyle family firms and non-family firms, respectively. Comparatively, lifestyle family firms most commonly differ from E.F.SMEs as relates to their pronounced inclination of preserving socioemotional wealth (SEW) that in essence, is largely non-economically oriented in nature. Overall, this study depicts a family enterprise as one whereby the family wields a significant ownership stake, is involved in firm governance, and exhibits a vision for how the firm will potentially benefit the family across multiple generations. This choice of depicting a family enterprise is guided by the study’s focus on corporate level strategies related to the enterprise-level micro-foundations that facilitate the building of dynamic alliance portfolio management capabilities – within the investigated enterprises.
Accordingly, E.F.SMEs are drawn upon to find answers to the study’s overarching research problem because in comparison to large established enterprises, they most commonly incorporate diverse arrays of prolonged non-equity based strategic partnerships and relationships (herein, alliance portfolios) to gain access to an assortment of new market and technological knowledge resources (in tacit and explicit form) – as a key platform for enhancing sustained entrepreneurial growth. Of importance, knowledge is herein regarded as constituting the most strategically significant resource for an enterprise in relation to successfully enhancing sustained entrepreneurial growth.
Notably, E.F.SMEs usually endow the strategic capacity of incorporating diverse arrays of prolonged non-equity based alliance portfolios owing to their heightened strategic flexibility in comparison to their lager firm counterparts. More specific to these enterprises’ strategic flexibility, this pervasive mode of enhancing sustained entrepreneurial growth initiatives by incorporating arrays of alliance portfolios is customarily occasioned by a devotion towards sustaining transgenerational wealth. Transgenerational wealth constitutes E.F.SMEs commitments towards generating and sustaining above average socio-economic returns across many generations. This commitment customarily involves investing heavily in establishing seemingly inimitable intangible resources, which is depicted as robust organisational social capital (R.OSC) in this study.
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