In this study we explore how the institutions of kinship and commerce are integrated within family businesses. Previous research shows that family firms’ characteristic synthesis of institutional logics often unravels during intergenerational successions; however, it remains unclear how this process can be arrested, or by whom. Through inductive analysis, we offer a novel insight: outside advisors can act as surrogates for family in this integrative role. Specifically, we identify fiduciaries—professionals with special client obligations—as key actors in preserving family firms’ viability as commercial enterprises and kinship groups. Our findings contribute to theories of family businesses, professions, and institutions.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 8. June 2018
- Family firm
- Institutional logics