AMP Call for Special Issue Papers: Echoes of the Past

AMP@aom.org

Submission deadline: 30 August 2023

Echoes of the Past: Capturing the Influence of Legacy on Individuals, Families and Organization


Guest Editors:

  • James Davis, Utah State University (USA)
  • Miruna Radu-Lefebvre, Audencia Business School (France)
  • William B. Gartner, Babson College (USA), Linnaeus University (Sweden)
  • Sarah Jack, Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) and Lancaster University Management School (UK)
  • Alfredo De Massis, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy), IMD Business School (Switzerland) and Lancaster University Management School (UK)

AMP Associate Editor:

Background

This Special Issue aims to explore the notion of legacy and the various ways it has been imagined through research on endowment, imprinting, reputation, morality, wisdom, identity, and traditions.
We define legacy as a persistent, immaterial trace of the past that exerts enabling or constraining effects in the present. We distinguish legacy from its artifacts (physical artifacts—such as buildings, land; verbal—such as stories; visual—such as pictures, movies; or symbolic—such as rituals, names). We hold that the primary components of legacy are psychological—legacy being made of varying cognitions—knowledge, beliefs, values, and norms, which are embedded in the receivers’ long-term memory through a process of information-processing, encoding/interpretation, and storage. Legacies are trans- (from the root word in Latin—across, beyond, through) actional, involving both senders and receivers.  Legacies are transferred as well as trans-formed, and therefore, we must account for those who attempt to build and send legacy—individuals, families, firms, and those receiving it, who thereby (re)create and (re)animate legacy over time. Because legacy fuels individual, family and organizational identities, legacy might be strategically leveraged by organizations to attract and secure varying resources. Does legacy help to scale stakeholders’ engagement, and if so, through which mechanisms?

Legacy is one of the most important yet least understood constructs of management research and practice. It has been investigated through varying theoretical lenses such as imprinting theory (Jaskiewicz, Combs, & Rau, 2015), organizational memory theory (Foroughi, Coraiola, Rintamäki, Mena, & Foster, 2020), identity development theory (Erikson, 1963), organizational identity theory (Suddaby, Schultz, & Israelsen, 2020), social learning theory (Millová, Malatincová, & Blatný, 2021), career development theory (Achtenhagen, Haag, Hulten, & Lundgren, 2022), and entrepreneurial motivation theory (Fox & Wade-Benzoni, 2017), to name a few. Legacy has been evidenced as a major asset of long-lasting organizations such as family businesses (Barbera, Stamm, & DeWitt, 2018), fueling organizational continuity (Suddaby & Jaskiewicz, 2020), innovation (De Massis, Frattini, Kotlar, Petruzzelli, & Wright, 2016; Erdogan, Rondi & De Massis, 2020), and ethical decision-making (Fox, Tost, & Wade-Benzoni, 2010). Mostly depicted as a positive organizational asset reflected in the organizations’ strategy (Harris & Ogbonna, 1999), brand (Lacroix & Jolibert, 2017) and market position (Plattfaut & Koch, 2021), legacy catalyzes distinctive and enduring identities (Crosina & Gartner, 2021), consolidates legitimacy (Mitchell, Agle, Chrisman, & Spence 2011), and provides a higher sense of purpose and a deeper sense of meaning for people and organizations (Hammond, Pearson, & Holt, 2016). Conversely to these positive contributions, legacy has been also acknowledged as a source of constraint in the present (e.g., Dacin, Dacin, & Kent, 2019), leading to organizational inertia (Hannan & Freeman, 1984; Rumelt, 1994).

Besides furthering ways to better understand how legacies provide beneficial paths towards positive futures, we believe that research is needed to determine how organizations break or modify legacies to succeed in dynamic markets and overcome damaging stakeholder relations and toxic governance. Past routines, habits, and traditions may exert limiting and coercing effects on new generations (Radu-Lefebvre, Lefebvre, Clarke, & Gartner, 2020), affecting their ability to identify new opportunities and elaborate innovative solutions to address unforeseen challenges (Suddaby, Coraiola, Harvey, & Foster, 2020). Such changes in relation to the past might only be possible to achieve with the support of others, which suggests legacy as a primarily relational construct calling for a deeper understanding of the role of stakeholder engagement in past conservation and change.

In sum, despite decades of knowledge accumulation in this area, our understanding of the enabling and constraining effects of legacy is still in its infancy. The literature on legacy brings into focus varying conceptualizations, actors, and mechanisms without offering a systematic identification and characterization of legacy motives, benefits, and constraints, which explains why we still lack a consolidated understanding of “who sends legacy” (legacy senders), “who receives legacy” (legacy receivers), “why legacy is sent”, “with what effects”, and in “what contexts.” As a result, insights into how the past influences the present remains a challenge for advancing both theory and practice in organizational settings and beyond.

Key Topics

The Special Issue seeks scholarly papers that engage with theory development and policy implications on the topic of legacy. We encourage contributions focused on, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • What kinds of legacies enable positive or negative impacts on individuals, organizations, society and the environment, social and environmental growth?
  • Why is a legacy transmitted? Why are legacies accepted or rejected? What are the motivations of legacy senders such as founders to create legacies? What does the role of generativity play in triggering legacy intentions (Faßbender, Wiebe & Bates, 2019)? What is the role of performativity (e.g., Austin, 1962; Barad, 2003) in shaping legacies?  Why are certain legacies accepted or rejected by individuals, families, businesses?
  • How is legacy transmitted and received? Is legacy always intentionally shared and what is the degree of control that legacy senders can exert over the process of legacy transmission? What are the mechanisms enabling the transfer of legacy (e.g., role modeling, persuasion, learning)?
  • Who sends and who receives legacy? Legacy always has a sender, an identified source. Who is that source and what are their characteristics? Is it always intentional? Who are the legacy receivers of that source? Does a legacy survive only if a legacy receiver is willing to accept it (in some form) and to cultivate it over time?
  • What are the effects of sending and receiving legacy? Legacy can be a source of pride and identity, but also restrain freedom of choice and behavior. Legacy can also be negative, a brand that an individual or organization must carry. What are the enabling and the constraining effects of legacy in succession? How does legacy contribute to organizational continuity and change? What are the dark sides or unintended consequences of legacy?  Under what conditions will legacy help or harm people and organizations?
  • Where and when are legacies transmitted and received? What are the socio-material and temporal micro-, meso- and macro-contexts explaining the circulation of legacy over time? Are certain cultures more sensitive to preserving legacy? Are different places and circumstances more conducive to long-lasting legacies? What are the circumstances that lead to a legacy’s collapse?

Paper Style

  1. Scholars are reminded that AMP seeks papers that advance theory and contribute to policy (broadly defined).
  2. We welcome conceptual and qualitative (e.g., narratives, multiple cases, experiments) papers, but note that AMP is neither a theory-tested nor a mathematical modeling journal.

Submission Process

We welcome informal enquiries relating to the Special Issue, proposed topics, and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives. Please direct any questions on the Special Issue to the Guest Editors.

References

Achtenhagen, L., Haag, K., Hulten, K., & Lundgren, J. (2022). Torn between individual aspirations and the family legacy—individual career development in family firms. Career Development International, 27(2), 201-221.
Austin, John L. (1962). How to do things with words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.
Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs, 28(3), 801-831.
Barbera, F., Stamm, I., & DeWitt, R. L. (2018). The development of an entrepreneurial legacy: Exploring the role of anticipated futures in transgenerational entrepreneurship. Family Business Review31(3), 352-378.
Crosina, E., & Gartner, W. B. (2021). Managing Legacy, Achievement and Identity in Entrepreneurial Families. In Family Entrepreneurship (pp. 35-47). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Dacin, M. T., Dacin, P. A., & Kent, D. (2019). Tradition in organizations: A custodianship framework. Academy of management annals13(1), 342-373.
De Massis, A., Frattini, F., Kotlar, J., Messeni-Petruzzelli, A., & Wright, M. (2016). Innovation through tradition: Lessons from innovative family businesses and directions for future research. Academy of Management Perspectives, 30(1), 93-116.
Erdogan I., Rondi E., & De Massis A. (2020). Managing the tradition and innovation paradox in family firms: A family imprinting perspective. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 44(1), 20-54.
Erikson, E.H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.
Faßbender, K., Wiebe, A., & Bates, T. C. (2019). Physical and cultural inheritance enhance agency, but what are the origins of this concern to establish a legacy? A nationally representative twin study of Erikson’s concept of generativity. Behavior Genetics49(2), 244-257. 
Foroughi, H., Coraiola, D. M., Rintamäki, J., Mena, S., & Foster, W. M. (2020). Organizational memory studies. Organization Studies41(12), 1725-1748.
Fox, M., Tost, L. P., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. (2010). The legacy motive: A catalyst for sustainable decision making in organizations. Business Ethics Quarterly20(2), 153-185.
Fox, M. J., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. (2017). The creation of opportunity is an opportunity to create: Entrepreneurship and the legacy motive. In Academy of Management Proceedings, (1, p. 17228). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.
Hammond, N. L., Pearson, A. W., & Holt, D. T. (2016). The quagmire of legacy in family firms: Definition and implications of family and family firm legacy orientations. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice40(6), 1209-1231.
Hannan, M. T., & Freeman, J. (1984). Structural inertia and organizational change. American sociological review, 149-164.
Harris, L. C., & Ogbonna, E. (1999). The strategic legacy of company founders. Long Range Planning32(3), 333-343.
Jaskiewicz, P., Combs, J. G., & Rau, S. B. (2015). Entrepreneurial legacy: Toward a theory of how some family firms nurture transgenerational entrepreneurship. Journal of business venturing30(1), 29-49.
Lacroix, C., & Jolibert, A. (2017). Mediational role of perceived personal legacy value between consumer agentic generativity and attitudes/buying intentions toward luxury brands. Journal of Business Research77, 203-211.
Millová, K., Malatincová, T., & Blatný, M. (2021). Intergenerational transmission of generativity and stagnation within families in a society after a macrosocial change: A two-generation study. Current Psychology, 1-15.
Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B.R., Chrisman, J.J., & Spence, L.J. (2011). Toward a theory of stakeholder salience in family firms. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21, 235-255.
Radu-Lefebvre, M., Lefebvre, V., Clarke, J, and Gartner, W. B. (2020). Entrepreneurial legacy: How narratives of the past, present and future affect entrepreneurship in business families. In A. Calabro, (Ed.) A Research Agenda for Family Business. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 73-86.
Rumelt, R. P. (1994). Precis of inertia and transformation. INSEAD, Research Paper (September).
Plattfaut, R., & Koch, J. (2021). Preserving the legacy–Why do professional soccer clubs (not) adopt innovative process technologies? A grounded theory study. Journal of Business Research136, 237-250.
Suddaby, R., Schultz, M., & Israelsen, T. (2020). Autobiographical Memory and Organizational Identity: The Role of Temporal Fluidity. In The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations (pp. 375-390). Oxford University Press.
Suddaby, R., Coraiola, D., Harvey, C., & Foster, W. (2020). History and the micro‚Äźfoundations of dynamic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal41(3), 530-556.