This research offers an explanatory model of family business continuity intentions where it is hypothesized that high family influence on the firm implies a high commitment of family members to the firm and thus a high desire to sustain the family firm in the long run. In addition, the model emphasizes the mediating role of family members’ identification with the firm as well as their emotional attachment in explaining the influence of family members’ commitment on continuity intentions. Based on a data sample of 46 French family SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), the findings show that family members’ commitment to the firm is positively related to the owning family’s influence on the firm. Further, commitment positively and significantly influences family members’ identification to the firm and their emotional attachment. In addition, ‘Identification’ and ‘Emotional attachment’ positively influence family owners’ willingness to perpetuate the firm. Furthermore, as expected, family members’ commitment to the firm has a significant indirect positive influence on continuity intentions. The article adds to the literature on commitment in family firms and contributes to our understanding of the role played by family members’ emotional attachment and the family-to-firm identity fit in shaping the future of the family business.
Basly, S. and Saunier, P.-L. (2020), “Family members’ commitment to the firm and family business continuity: investigating the mediating role of family-to-firm identity fit and emotional attachment”, Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship (FNEGE 4, HCERES C), Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 9-32