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An Alternative Approach to Family Business

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An Alternative Approach to Family Business

A Theory of Socio-Material Weaving

9781800379060 Edward Elgar Publishing
Mona Ericson, Professor Emerita of Strategy and Organization and CeFEO Affiliated Professor, Jönköping International Business School, Sweden
Publication Date: October 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80037 906 0 Extent: c 208 pp
This insightful and innovative book proposes a new theory of socio-material weaving for studying and understanding family business. It dissolves the family business into activities, constituted of the sociality of human interactions and relations and interwoven with materials that extend in both a bodily-lived and spatial existential sense.

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This insightful and innovative book proposes a new theory of socio-material weaving for studying and understanding family business. It dissolves the family business into activities, constituted of the sociality of human interactions and relations and interwoven with materials that extend in both a bodily-lived and spatial existential sense.

Building on hermeneutic phenomenology, Mona Ericson explores a new approach to the field, which shifts focus away from entitized conceptions of family business contexts. Building on a ‘being-in-the-world’ understanding, the book emphasizes human entwinement with activities in amongst materials. Chapters draw insights from research on the social and the material, exploring the field through five unique stories that illustrate the intertwinement of family business activities and materials associated with buildings and land. Taking a critical stance towards systems-oriented family business research, Ericson weaves together the social and the material in association with narrative truth.

An innovative and imaginative exploration of an established field of study, this book is crucial reading for scholars, researchers and graduate students of family business, opening up new ways of approaching the field in scholarly work. It will also benefit practitioners through practical insights into the challenges family business owners face when establishing and managing business activities.
Critical Acclaim
‘With beautiful prose and thick description of place(s), time, context, space and bodies, Mona Ericson weaves together the socio-materiality and “being in the world” of five multi-generational family businesses from the Swedish region of Tällberg. Challenging dominant perspectives in family business research, the author builds a hermeneutic-phenomenological understanding of the social in relation to the material. In so doing, she invites us to “feel the worlds” of family business owners as they work, labour, live, love and play in the context of the lives of their parents and co-workers, their land, buildings, materials, and artefacts. This book brings to family business scholarship a valuable and richly-theorized analysis that will inspire researchers of all backgrounds and traditions to appreciate the emotional and material realities, affective moods, processes of subjection and practices of care that are central to the every-day lives of people involved in family businesses.’
– Denise Fletcher, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

‘Mona Ericson continues to explore the most lived form of business – the family business. This time, her attention to stories is extended to a phenomenological and (I would say) anthropological sensitivity before the material, bodily and spatial in the family business world. This is a rich, multivoiced study that offers the reader new, intimately grounded, and precise insights into a world we thought was familiar.’
– Daniel Hjorth, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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