The research will be exploratory in nature. The focus of the project is to understand how family firms work in the context of innovation. The representatives of the family firms will be the parents and the friends of the researcher. The project specifically attempts to understand whether Chinese family enterprises have some form of a unique advantage when it comes to innovation. Some of the elements that would hence be discussed in this context are with respect to interpersonal relationships in the family business, the factor of loyalty the obstacles and how the obstacles towards innovation in the family business might be addressed are also included. Functional adaptability and enthusiasm to create in a family business might be more compared to a non-family run one. This is a basic hypothesis with which the research would be conducted.
Research Aim and Objectives
The aim of the research is to identify and critically analyze those elements that Chinese family firms rely on to realize innovation. The elements would be culture based, the family firm based or would be based on the individual. A comprehensive set of elements is being considered for research.
The objectives of research are:
To identify those criteria which facilitates better innovation and creativity management in Chinese family firms
To analyze and critically discuss by means of secondary research data if Chinese family firms differ from western culture family firms and how these differences would impact on the creativity and the innovation of the organization
To understand by means of primary research, what the owners, and the other representatives of Chinese family firms believe about their company’s innovation attempts.
Based on the research aim, and a preliminary literature search (as presented in the research background), some research questions have been formulated.
What are the ways Chinese firms believing they avail advantages when it comes to creativity and innovation compared to other non-family Chinese firms?
Does the mix of generations in family firms, lead to more liberal attitudes on innovation in the firm? Is there balance between the old and the new?
An exploratory research methodology is one that can be used where the problem of the research has still not been identified in a very definitive way (Creswel& Clark, 2007; Yin, 2003). Now considering the current research focus, ‘What does Chinese family firms rely on to realize innovation?’ can be seen as a multifaceted complex phenomenon. This is because Chinese firms and innovation can by itself be a separate topic and Chinese firms would be different based on culture from other western firms, so the cultural impact would change how Chinese firms might innovate. Focusing on how a Chinese family firm would work would put more emphasis on the culture again, and finally by attempting to identify specific factors as present in Chinese family firms that motivate, aid or assist in terms of creativity and innovation is seen to be a complex phenomenon because of the interplay of different relationships and impacts. In this context, exploratory research is beneficial because it attempts to identify whether a problem exists. In the case of this research, the presence of such factors that play a role in the innovation of Chinese family firms, in a way that is either much better or lesser so with respect to western or other firms is identified and analyzed.