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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Beyond trauma: the recovery of motivation and meaning in an Italian jewellery company

The paper will explore this case of traumatic generational transition in a family business and how this experience has led to great success many years later. The impact of the Italian context and its culture will be addressed. Italy has the highest density of family entrepreneurship worldwide. Furthermore, the jewellery product has a strong influence on the culture and management of the organisation and on the type of dynamics since it is full of emotional and symbolic meanings, such as love, trust, loyalty, power, etc., and this contributes to a continuity-oriented culture in the jewellery business (Brunner, 1997). My hypothesis is that the motivator for the survival of ANGG at whatever personal and economic price in the most difficult times and its subsequent successful development was not only money, but also loyalty towards the family, its values and history, towards the employees who are deeply bound to the family and towards the local community in which ANGG is deeply-rooted. It had to do with the fear, pain, anxiety and anguish of the new generation about loosing their world so meaningful and important for them.'