Understanding Family Businesses: Undiscovered Approaches, Unique Perspectives, and Neglected Topics

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Alan L. Carsrud, Malin Brännback
Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 29, 2011 - Business & Economics - 328 pages
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Businesses owned and operated by families constitute the vast majority of firms around the world. These firms are found in all industrial segments, from retail and service establishments to heavy manufacturers. Their sizes and revenues range from the smallest venture of a husband and wife roadside food stall in rural India to the largest multinational, highly diversified corporations in the United States and Europe. Many challenges, such as competition, regulation, environmental concerns, access to capital, and macroeconomic factors confront family and nonfamily firms alike. In addition, family and closely-held firms grapple with such issues of succession, continuity, conflict resolution, identity and organizational roles, estate and financial planning that are idiosyncratic to them; when psychological, social, and emotional factors are in play, constantly changing familial relationships influence the strategic and financial choices they make. Yet, there has been comparatively little theoretical or empirical research undertaken on family firms, relative to entrepreneurship and strategic management.

This book addresses gaps in the literature by presenting a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to the study and practice of family business that draws from such fields as psychology, anthropology, sociology, strategy, family therapy, family studies, wealth management, and international business. An international array of experts addresses both macro issues (including the role of family businesses in new business creation and economic development, influences of culture on family business, public policies that can encourage or threaten family business) and firm management (strategic and financial decision making, governance, entering and exiting). Featuring case studies from firms in a variety of industries, Understanding Family Businesses not only offers provocative new insights on family business dynamics, but outlines an agenda for future research.


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Family Business A Global Perspective from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
Intentions in the Family Business The Role of Family Norms
Identity Dynamics in the Family Business Context A Novels Perspective
Love Hate and Desire The Role of Emotional Messiness in the Business Family
Whats Love Got to Do with It? Marriage and Divorce in Family Business
The Bad Seeds Poisonous Harvest How Offspring Sow and Reap Deviant and Dysfunctional Behavior in the Family Business
Double Roles Double Binds? Double Bind Theory and Family Business Research
Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Family Business
Do Family Councils Really Work? The Need for Empirical Study
Transferring Strategy Research to the Family Firm Context A Fit Perspective on Performance in Family Firms
Follow the Capital Benefits of Tracking Family Capital Across Family and Business Systems
Understanding HybridIdentity Organizations The Case of Publicly Listed Family Businesses
New Theoretical Perspectives on Family Business Entrepreneurial Behavior
Sustaining Family Wealth The Impact of the Family Office on the Family Enterprise
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How to Create Trust in Family Firms and Rebuild It When Its Lost Implications for Practice and Research

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About the author (2011)

Alan L. Carsrud holds the Loretta Rogers Chaired Professorship in Entrepreneurship in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Canada. He is Docent at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. He has co-edited, with Malin Brännback, Entrepreneurship and Understanding the Entrepreneurial Mind: Inside the Black Box. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Small Business Management and was Founding Associate Editor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. His over 170 articles, books, and chapters are in technology, entrepreneurship, innovation systems, entrepreneurial cognitions, family business, and clinical & social psychology. His research appears in Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Family Business Review, Journal of Small Business Management, Journal of Enterprising Culture, New Biotechnology, Screenings, VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Journal of Applied Psychology, American Journal on Mental Deficiency, and the Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology. He is a fellow of the Family Firm Institute and on the board of the Family Enterprise Research Conferences.

Malin Brännback is Chair of International Business at Åbo Akademi University where she received her doctoral degree in management science in 1996. She also holds a B.Sc. in pharmacy. She has served as Associate Professor in Information Systems at University of Turku, and Professor of Marketing at Turku School of Economics, Finland. She has co-authored or edited, with Alan Carsrud, two books: Entrepreneurship and Understanding the Entrepreneurial Mind: Inside the Black Box. She has published widely on entrepreneurship, biotechnology business, and knowledge management. Her current research interests are in entrepreneurial cognition, intentionality, and firm growth and performance in high technology entrepreneurship. Her research appears in Journal of Small Business Management, Journal of Enterprising Culture, New Biotechnology, Screenings, VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Knowledge Management Research and Practice, Knowledge and Process Management, Human Systems Management, Journal of Decision Systems, Journal of Market-Focused Management, and European Management Journal.

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