The Effect Of Family Owned Enterprises

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The Effect Of Family Owned Enterprises On Knowledge Sharing In Southern China's Electronics Industry

The Effect Of Family Owned Enterprises On Knowledge Sharing In Southern China's Electronics Industry

Chapter 5: Conclusion

Overview of the Study

The aim of this research was to study whether the family ownership of electronics enterprises has a positive effect on knowledge sharing in southern China. It is an attempt to verify and validate the concept that the family element in family-owned enterprises positively influences knowledge sharing effectiveness among people. The family enterprise definition was adapted from a model by Chua et al (2004). Four factors have been considered in examining this effect on knowledge sharing. Models for these were adapted as follows: organizational culture - (Hotsfede, 1998), IT system - Sher et al (2004), leadership - Yang (2007) and incentive - Wong and Aspinwall (2005). The effectiveness of knowledge sharing was adapted from a model by De Vries, Van Den Hoff and De Ridder (2006). This study builds upon previous work by engaging in an examination of the family effect to four knowledge sharing influential factors and their effect on knowledge sharing effectiveness.

Quantitative research methodology was used in this research for collection of data from owners of electronic enterprises located in southern China. A web-based online questionnaire was set up. Information of 9,500 owners of electronic enterprise were randomly selected from the public databases available in the website such as Alibaba (, Hong Kong Trade Development Council ( and a Chinese website with information about electronic business ( Emails were sent to the 9,500 targeted respondents together with the Participant Information Sheet to invite them to complete the online questionnaire. During the data collection period from December 25, 2008 to April 30, 2009, 420 responses were gathered and only 278 were fully completed (without missing value(s)). The response rate and completion rate were 4.42% and 2.93% respectively. The response rate of only 4.42% for an internet survey was considered to be very low for academic research. However, according to the consultant of a leading marketing research company in US, 4.42% response rate and 2.93% completion rate were considered to be quite good for commercial research projects. Response rate and completion rate for an internet survey in US for commercial research are around 1% and 0.5% respectively averagely provided that those surveyed were given no incentive to respond (Berger JT, 2007). Data collection was also within a period when the world's economy was seriously hit by the recent financial turmoil.


63.7% of the respondents are from non-family enterprises and more than 70% of respondents are holding positions other than Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Managing Director and General Manager.

The majorities of size of the enterprises are between 201 and 1,000 employees (32.7%) and 1,001 to 3,000 employees (27.7%) respectively. More than 50% of enterprises has less than 10% of top management team from the same family. Most of enterprises that were under studied have one generation from their family ...
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