Social representations of kinship relations: a case study in a family business group

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Carolina Lescura
Mozar José de Brito
Alex Fernando Borges
Mônica Carvalho Alves Cappelle


The purpose of this paper is to comprehend social representations of kinship relations in a group consisting of twelve family firms from the pharmaceutical industry, located in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In addition, the theory of social representations was employed as the methodological approach, in order to uncover representations produced by different actors about the influence of kinship relations on the family group. The results revealed the occurrence of two major representations: kinship as social integration and a mechanism for the maintenance of the established organizational order, and kinship as a source of conflict. We concluded that the family businesses all shared aspects of contradictory practices and diverse objectives; at times focusing on business objectives and needs, while at other times being dominated by personal and/or family desires. As such, it is difficult to develop formulas and analytical models to understand study objects such as the family business group. This is because its actions are characterized by simultaneous subjective and objective aspects, in a constant dynamic of interaction between family and business.


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Lescura, C., Brito, M. J. de, Borges, A. F., & Cappelle, M. C. A. (1). Social representations of kinship relations: a case study in a family business group. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 16(1), 98-117.