• Turkish delight a public affairs study on family business: The influence of owners in the entrepreneurship orientation of family-owned businesses

      Ozdemir, Ozlem; Harris, Phil; University of Chester; Regents University, London
      Family-owned businesses (FOBs) are as unique as the families that own and control them. As reported by Miller, Steier, and Le Breton-Miller (2003, p.513), the founders of many of these businesses try to continue their legacy and ensure continued family control via intergenerational succession, as when they hand over leadership to their children. The initial statistics suggest only approximately one third of FOBs survive into the second generation, with just 12% remaining “viable” by the third, and only about 3% operating into the fourth generation or beyond. Thus, one of the central problems for FOBs is this inability to ensure competent cross-generational family leadership through successful transfer of ownership and management to the next family generation. This is a core issue for the modern public affairs practitioner and policy maker, nationally and internationally, and the Turkish case is a good example of the multicomplex issues evident in succession planning and leadership for business founders and leaders in these organisations. A firm's strategic orientation is an indicator of the processes developed to integrate new information, to coordinate decisions, to examine the evolution of environmental factors, and to assess new projects (Escriba-Esteve, Sanchez-Peinado & Sanchez-Pei- nado, 2009). However, few studies have provided a framework that jointly analyses the FOB owner characteristics, the mediating processes and attitudes by which owners shape the direction of their family firms, and the effect of these postures on firm performance. This paper addresses the influence of family business owner, over the behaviour of FOBs. By treating FOB owners' characteristics as predictors of a firm's strategic ori- entation, we seek to provide a deeper understanding of how the characteristics of FOB owners shape decision making process and FOBs' behaviours in order to suc- cessfully survive in generations. This study introduced the concept of FOB's entre- preneurship orientation (EO) as a variable that mediates between FOB owners' characteristics and business performance. The objective of this paper is twofold: (a) to identify the demographic predictors FOBs' EO and (b) to analyse the role of EO as a mediator of the relationship between FOB owners' characteristics and FOBs' performance.