A Social Network Approach to Nonfamily Employee Identification and Turnover Intentions in Family Firms


Templeton, Laura Marler

Committee Member

Otondo, Bob

Committee Member

Vardaman, James

Committee Member

Marett, Kent

Committee Member

Barnett, Tim

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Nonfamily employees make up a substantial portion of family firm personnel and are crucial to success for these firms. Retaining these employees is complicated by the presence of family members and family-centric goals, which often results in the bifurcated treatment of nonfamily employees. However, the relationships between family and nonfamily employees could have implications for how nonfamily employees perceive the firm. This study examines how nonfamily employees’ turnover intentions are influenced by their embeddedness in family member friendship networks, family firm identification, and perceptions of organizational support. Drawing on a sample of 103 nonfamily employees working in a family firm, my analysis shows that identification fully mediates the effects of nonfamily employee degree centrality in family friendship networks and turnover intentions. Drawing on social identification theory, degree centrality in family friendship networks is theorized to influence perceptions of belongingness in the family firm, which negatively impact turnover intentions. Implications for understanding how nonfamily employees and employee retention may be influence by social networks are also discussed.



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