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Image and Identity in High-profile Family Business Conflicts: Market Basket


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A Netnography

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Image and Identity in High-profile Family Business Conflicts: Market Basket

  1. 1. GUY SACK, M.A., MANAGEMENT FELLOW BOSTON UNIVERSITY QUESTROM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Image and Identity in High-Profile Family Business Conflicts: Market Basket
  2. 2. Overview  Stage 1: Netnography  Stage 2: Grounded Theory Analysis of Boston Globe Boardroom reports
  3. 3. Netnography Netnography: Netnography is the branch of ethnography that analyses the free behaviour of individuals on the Internet that uses online marketing research techniques to provide useful insights. The word “netnography” comes from “Inter[net]” and “ethnography” and was a process and term coined by Dr. Robert V. Kozinets. (Wikipedia, 2014)
  4. 4. Netnography  “faster, simpler, and less expensive than ethnography, and more naturalistic and unobtrusive than focus groups or interviews” (Kozinets, 2010).  Ethnography as method  Ethnography as representation (Van Maanen, 1995)
  5. 5. Netnography Sources:  Wikipedia  Devaney Website  “Official” Website  Employee Website  Boston Globe  Articles  Board Room conversations*
  6. 6. Netnography: Initial Findings  Locations all over the country but a concentration in Massachusetts and New Hampshire  Boston Globe is the major newspaper in the primary region of operation  Google searches for letters to shareholders turned up mostly letters from outsiders to shareholders to try to tell them what to do.
  7. 7. Primary Narratives  Feud began in 1990  Devaney timeline (Devaney website 3 years old)  Boston Globe Timeline  Board room conversations  New Website vs. employee website  Analytical quagmire
  8. 8. Grounded Theory  Grounded theory  Open Coding  Axial Coding  Generation of themes (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990; LaRossa, 2005)  Minutes from 5 board meetings from 2003 through 2012, totaling 206 pages
  9. 9. Grounded Theory  “What, are you going to run this like a third grade class?”  “Excuse me. Did you say ‘Don’t interrupt?’ Then don’t interrupt me. Okay? I see right through this. You guys have your little games you play every single meeting.”  “And between what we got accomplished this year and what we have coming next year and the hard work ethic and the momentum we have with our people, we feel very confident that 20 percent is a nice number.”
  10. 10. Discussion  Social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1985; Ashforth & Mael 1989)  Organizational identity and image (Dutton & Dukerich, 1991)  Managing multiple identities (Pratt & Foreman, 2000)
  11. 11. Conclusions  The family member who is there (Aurthur S usually absent)  Long-term (reinvestment, not just bonuses)***  Maverick (acting without board approval)*  Pottymouth/namecaller (“little lady”, “bullshit”)  Optimist and Bully vs. Crusader  Who was present?  Image vs. Identity  Workers vs. Board members
  12. 12. References Ashforth, B. E., & Mael, F. (1989). Social identity theory and the organization. Academy of Management Review, 14(1), 20-39. The Boston Globe. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2014, from business/ specials/market-basket. Dutton, J. E., & Dukerich, J. M. (1991). Keeping an eye on the mirror: Image and identity in organizational adaptation. Academy of Management Journal, 34(3), 517-554. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Kozinets, R. V. (2010). Netnography: Doing ethnographic research online Sage Publications.
  13. 13. References (Cont’d) LaRossa, R. (2005). Grounded theory methods and qualitative family research. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(4), 837-857. Market Basket - Family Owned & Operated in SETX & SWLA. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2014, from Market Basket Supermarkets of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. (2012, June 7). Retrieved December 13, 2014, from Netnography. (2014, October 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:50, December 13, 2014, from Pratt, M. G., & Foreman, P. O. (2000). Classifying managerial responses to multiple organizational identities. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 18-42.
  14. 14. References (Cont’d) Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. M. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Washington, DC: Sage Publications, Inc. Turner, J. C. (1985). Social categorization and the self-concept: A social cognitive theory of group behavior. Advances in Group Processes, 2, 77-122. Van Maanen, J. (1995). Representation in ethnography. Thousand Oaks, Ca. We Are Market Basket. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2014, from
  15. 15. THANK YOU!