Under new management, tradition of innovation and innovation of tradition: the case of constructive disruption in a family firm

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
30th Anzam Conference 2016 program, 2016
Issue Date:
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Abstract We investigate narrative discourses at an Australian steel foundry, as the business balances the challenges of implementing change to remain competitive in a global environment, while maintaining its identity and values as a ‘family firm’. Analysis of research data under macro, meso and micro discursive categories revealed four key themes as sites of dynamic tension: 1) stability in instability, 2) narratives of mastery, 4) intertwined identities, and 3) community centricity. We discuss how these findings expand our understanding of the relationship between tradition and innovation within family firms, where notions of tradition provide value as a discursive resource that can be deployed to ease the social tensions emerging from innovation, in a paradoxical process that translates local family connections and histories into dynamic capabilities for the firm.
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