Top leaders’ behavioral flexibility, organizational adaptability and firm performance: an analysis of italian family companies


  • Alessandra Tognazzo Department of Economics and Management University of Padova (Italy)
  • Sara Sassetti Department of Political Science University of Pisa (Italy)
  • Paolo Gubitta Department of Economics and Management University of Padova (Italy)



Leadership, performance, adaptability


Given the increasing uncertainty and complexity that organizations have to face nowadays, top executives of family companies must be prepared to adapt not only their leadership behavior, but also the organizational structures to meet the challenges of an increasing uncertainty. Grounding on Yukl’s Flexible Leadership Theory, this study aims to explore the relationship among leaders’ behavioral flexibility, organizational adaptability and organizational performance. This research, based on behavioral event interviews (BEI), involved 87 top leaders of family Italian companies. Findings suggest that top leaders’ behavioral competencies and organizational adaptability are related to firm results only when these two elements are considered together. Thanks to this research, we contribute to extend previous work on the relationship between top leaders’ flexibility and firm performance considering family firms’ leadership as a complex process that takes into account the organizational conditions under which top leaders’ behavioral flexibility is effective.


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How to Cite

Tognazzo, A., Sassetti, S., & Gubitta, P. (2022). Top leaders’ behavioral flexibility, organizational adaptability and firm performance: an analysis of italian family companies. Piccola Impresa / Small Business, (3).



Other Research Articles
Received 2021-04-14
Accepted 2022-03-13
Published 2022-03-28