Understanding the innovation behavior of family firms Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2015

start page

  • 382

end page

  • 399


  • 2


  • 53

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-2778

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-627X


  • This paper examines innovation behavior in family firms, analyzing their innovation efforts, sources, and results. Its underlying premise is that innovation behavior depends on the firm's resource endowment and the level of risk inherent in the decision to innovate, factors that make family involvement an influential characteristic in innovation processes. Using a large sample of Spanish firms, the findings show that family firms perform fewer innovation efforts and are less inclined to turn to external sources of innovation—such as technological collaboration—than nonfamily firms. Finally, family firms are more likely to achieve incremental innovations than radical innovations.