Organizational life cycle stage and controls in Australian family firms

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Document Type

Book Chapter

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Interim status: Citation only.

Moores, Ken and Mula, J. M., (2008). Organizational life cycle stage and controls in Australian family firms, in Gupta, V., Levenburg, N., Moore, L., Motwani, J. and Schwartz, T. (2008). (edited) Culturally-sensitive Models of Family Businesses in Anglo Region - A Compendium using the GLOBE paradigm Hyderabad, pp. 155-175, ICFAI University Press. ISBN 978-81-314-2068-3.

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Copyright © Vipin Gupta/The Icfai University Press, 2008.


Despite their numerical and economic significance to Australia, family businesses have not been extensively researched. This paper reports results from a nation-wide study of Australian family owned businesses that sought to ascertain and understand their management and control practices. In particular, we assess the organizational transitions of these firms in terms of their dominant controls. Controls are evaluated according to Ouchi’s classification of market, bureaucratic, and clan controls. The salience of these different controls serves to identify distinctive patterns that define periods of organizational passage (life cycles).

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain and understand the management and control practices of Australian family owned firms. In particular, we explore whether there is a dominance of market, bureaucratic, or clan controls that coincide with various stages of development of family firms. This isolates those controls that facilitate the development of family firms in their successful management of key organizational transitions.

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