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Young consumer perception towards family firms: Relationship building and gender



Objective: The objective of the article is to investigate young consumer perception of family firms (FFs) used in the process of relationship building. It also stresses the importance of gender roles within this representative group.

Research Design & Methods: Following a literature review, a quantitative survey on a statistically representative random-cluster sample of 237 Generation Z consumers was conducted in the latter half of 2017 in Poland. The computer-assisted web interviewing method was used, and factor analysis was applied.

Findings: Results indicate that young consumers perceived FFs as reliable, long-term businesses with a human-centred approach to clients. Tradition was the attribute that distinguished FFs on the market. Gender differences played an important role in the perception of FFs.

Implications & Recommendations: Further research should consider the influencing factors for families from external influencers. This research initiates the process of influencing young customers and can lead to a model development that would describe the specifics of Generation Z in FFs.

Contribution & Value Added: The study should be considered a framework for identifying ways to achieve competitive advantage of family-owned companies. From a practical perspective, this is an important implication for FFs’ owners and marketing managers who have noticed a growing concern of an aging target population.




family business, SMEs, CAWI method, consumer habit, Poland

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Author Biography

Joanna Bednarz

Habilitation, Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (2014, 2004 University of Gdansk); Head of the Department of International Business. Her research includes the competitiveness and internationalization of business entities, new trends in consumption, the behaviour of young consumers, brand and product management. She authored several books and scientific articles.

Małgorzata Bartosik-Purgat

Professor at the Department of International Management, Poznan University of Economics and Business. Her research includes cultural aspects in international business, international marketing, consumer behaviour and the significance of social media in a culturally diversified marketplace.

Tomasz Jastrzębski

Master of Econometrics and Econometrician at the Department of Econometrics, University of Gdansk, Poland. His research interests include econometrics, systemic risk, risk management and financial management.

Giuseppe T. Cirella

Habilitation in Economics, Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (2020, University of Gdansk, Poland; 2010, Griffith University, Australia); Professor at the University of Gdansk, Poland. His research interests include economic geography, economic development, society studies and sustainability.


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