A comparative study of the innovation strategies of family and non-family firms in Italy

On issue: 
Accounting and Business Adm.

Innovation strategy represents one of the most important research topics concerning the family business phenomenon. The purpose of the research is to investigate the relevance of innovation strategy comparing family firms (FFs) and non-family firms (NFFs), with a particular reference to technological innovation. It has been achieved by taking into consideration the relevance of R&D investments in innovation, and the different innovation configurations chosen by FFs and NFFs.

Referring to De Massis, Frattini and Lichtenthaler (2013) and Gudmundson, Hartman and Tower (1999), the approach used is both qualitative and quantitative, as it is based on empirical evidences and information measuring as well.

According to several scholars, FFs find innovative strategies more appealing as opposed to NFFs. FFs are more likely to set out longer term plans for their investments than NFFs. Finally, most of the FFs investigated in the study have chosen a combination of internal and external innovation via strong networks of third parties in R&D.

The implications arising from this research are both theoretical and practical, as this matter is pertinent for both scholars and practitioners. The limitations instead could be overcome by using relevant econometric models to replicate the effect of a series of external and internal variables on the innovative policy.