• Attitudes of family firms toward outside investors: The importance of organizational identification

      Neckebrouck, Jeroen; Manigart, Sophie; Meuleman, Miguel (Routledge, 2018)
      More and more family firms open their capital for outside investors, yet existing studies mainly conclude that family firms are more reluctant than nonfamily firms to hand over control to outside investors. In this study, we build on an organizational identification perspective to explore why family firms differ in their attitudes toward outside investors. We hypothesize that family members who identify strongly with their firms are less willing to cede control to outside investors and, if they do cede control, have a stronger preference for investors who may readily identify with family firms, such as family offices or high net worth individuals, rather than investors who may not fit well with a familial identity, such as private equity sponsors or financial investors. We also hypothesize that social identification mediates the relationship between important family firm governance characteristics and preferences for outside investor. Exploratory evidence from a sample of Belgian family firms is supportive of most of our predictions.
    • Corporate governance and initial public offerings in Belgium

      Fassin, Yves; Levrau, Abigail; Van den Berghe, Lutgart (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
      Internet adoption in China is booming and purchasing power is growing steadily. Increasing numbers of Chinese turn to the Internet to search for information prior to a purchase. Based on 32 h of interviews with students and business professionals in China, and a questionnaire completed by a sample of 1140 students in Beijing and Belgium, our explorative study demonstrates that fundamental cultural, behavioral, economic, technical, and other characteristics of China cause significant differences between Chinese and Western Europeans in their online search process for information prior to a purchase. The differences occur in frequency, goal, types of information sought, types of websites used, search engine usage patterns, and contribution of user opinions. This has important implications for marketing practitioners in China, especially for multinational corporations that enter China and that are not familiar yet with the Chinese environment. Suggestions for future research are also provided.
    • Grounding principles for governing social software investments

      De Hertogh, Steven; Viaene, Stijn (2010)
      During the early years of the World Wide Web, also commonly referred to as the internet, there was relatively little engagement between content providers and end-users, or between end-users. Although some specialized communities, such as newsgroups, approached the internet as an open, decentralized, participative platform, not many content providers really did. Communication occurred mainly in a top-down, one-to-many, centralized mode of content broadcasting. In many ways the internet remained similar to already existing media such as television or radio. This first era of development is now being referred to as web 1.0. The advent of Web 2.0 has been about embracing the inherently open and social characteristics of the internet. It supports a profound change in communication toward a many-to-many, decentralized format. The latter favors the emergence of bottom-up trends rather than the design of top-down, paternalistically imposed strategies and structures. Web 2.0 applications aspire to make maximal use of the level playing field for engagement offered by the internet, both technologically and socially (O’Reilly, 2005, 2006). The World Wide Web has thereby entered “the realm of sociality” (Bouman et al., 2007), where software becomes fused with everyday social life. Social software applications such as Wikipedia, Facebook and MySpace have all but become household names.