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Assessments on the competency model of senior managers of family firms in China

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image of Frontiers of Business Research in China

Based on the critical behavioral event interviews with 18 senior managers of family firms, the current study developed a competency model for senior managers of family firms in China. The primary findings are as follows. First, using the Critical Behavioral Event Interview (BEI) to develop the competency model of senior managers, the occurrence frequency and mean level scores of competencies are comparatively stable measures and the competencies’ maximal level scores are influenced by interview length. The study also found that both mean level scores and maximal level scores can differentiate superior senior managers from average senior managers of family firms. Second, the competency model of senior managers of family firms in China includes 11 competencies, namely authority orientation, initiative, opportunity-seizing, information seeking, organizational awareness, direction, benevolence orientation, self-control, self-confidence, self-learning, and impact and influence. Among them, nine competencies are consistent with those of the generic competency model of senior managers of Western enterprises and five with those of the generic competency model of senior managers of state-owned firms in China. Our results revealed that the authority orientation and benevolence orientation are the two competencies unique to the senior managers of family firms in China.


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