'How Do Tensions Become Salient in Family Firms? A Paradox Perspective Applied to Chinese Family Firms'

Shihang Su, Laura Costanzo, Knut Lange

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This paper explores how latent paradoxical tensions in family firms become salient within the institutional context of China. Through the narrative analysis of four Chinese family business entrepreneurs, we found two latent paradoxes, respectively the liquidity-growth paradox and the industrial-family reputation paradox. The liquidity-growth paradox is rendered salient through the increasing family involvement; however, such organizational condition was not impactful until institutional changes occur. The industry-family reputation paradox becomes salient after leaders make sense of the ambiguous formal institutions and learn how to respond to them. Furthermore, we found that the salient paradox could become latent again as the acceptable behaviour is better defined by changing formal institutions. Our findings contribute to the theoretical and empirical development of the paradox perspective with a focus on that macro-institutional changes can transform latent into salient paradoxes. It is also possible that such changes render salient paradoxes latent again.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Mar 2023
EventInternational Family Enterprise Research Academy 2023 - Krakow, Poland
Duration: 6 Jul 20238 Jul 2023


ConferenceInternational Family Enterprise Research Academy 2023
Abbreviated titleIFERA 2023
Internet address


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