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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Family Business Strategy, Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2010, Pages 6–14
The purpose of this article is to stimulate new ideas for research and guide authors in developing submissions suitable to the scope and vision of the Journal of Family Business Strategy. Toward this aim, the article reviews 10 areas of research relevant to strategic thinking in family business. In each area, it reviews major contributions, highlights promising areas of inquiry, and presents a set of integrated research questions for further exploration.
If ever a field needed greater attention and more outlets for theory and research, family business1 is it. The proportion of family business related journals to overall journals is negligible. The proportion of family businesses to all other businesses is overwhelming as is the contribution of family businesses to Gross World Product (GWP), employment and employment growth (IFERA, 2003). It is with this in mind that we embark on this journey of discovery and launch a new scientific journal: The Journal of Family Business Strategy (JFBS). Thirty years ago, there was no appreciable academic research on family business. What few articles existed largely demonized family companies with anecdotes. The successes of family business were all but ignored. Today, we are witness to an ever increasing number of articles dealing with family business, both in specialized (see, e.g., Bird et al., 2002, Chrisman et al., 2003, Heck and Mishra, 2008 and Rogoff and Heck, 2003) and mainstream journals (Chrisman et al., 2008 and Debicki et al., 2009). Likewise, there is a proliferation of dedicated family business chairs at universities and a variety of international academic conferences around the topic (Kaplan et al., 2000 and Sharma et al., 2007). Enticed by such developments, the esteemed publisher Elsevier conducted extensive research and concluded that the family business field has grown to a stage that supported – and required – another scholarly journal. We are proud to launch of Journal of Family Business Strategy which appeals to readers from a wide range of backgrounds. JFBS aims to be a primary publication outlet for academics and scholars. The Journal is not affiliated with any single organization or academic society. The aim of JFBS is to investigate family business strategy from different perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds, starting from well-grounded theoretical foundations and using rigorous research methods. Family businesses sit at the intersection of commerce and family, and as such have unique characteristics, opportunities and threats. These distinctive elements, from their different managerial behavior, to leveraging the family name, are all strategic issues that JFBS seeks to address. JFBS focuses on family and business dynamics and their many effects on family business strategy in its broadest sense. As evidenced by the editorial team, JFBS seeks research and understanding of family business strategic issues from around the world, from multiple cultures, and from a wide variety of social and economic systems. Therefore, JFBS covers a broad spectrum of organizations, independent of developmental stage, geographic location and ethnic background, level of internationalization, and size – from the largest and oldest businesses in the world to the newest and most innovative venture. JFBS publishes a broad range of topics relating to strategy in family business, a woefully understudied aspect of family business (Ibrahim et al., 2008 and Zahra and Sharma, 2004). The need for a distinct journal in the area of strategy is grounded in several facts. The past 30 years of research have consistently shown that the strategies that characterize successful family businesses are often quite different from those companies typically studied by strategy and other researchers looking at non-family businesses (Chrisman et al., 2005 and Sharma et al., 1997). Due to family influence, family businesses have characteristics that differentiate them from non-family businesses (Moores, 2009), pursue strategies different from non-family firms (Kotey, 2005), and private businesses have been shown to pursue different strategies than listed companies (Trostel & Nichols, 1982). For instance, research shows that family businesses are value-driven (Denison et al., 2004 and Olson et al., 2003), pursue other than merely financial goals (Astrachan and Jaskiewicz, 2008, Gomez-Mejia et al., 2007, Zellweger and Astrachan, 2008a and Zellweger and Astrachan, 2008b), can rely on networks and long-term relationships fostering trust and altruism (Anderson et al., 2005, Carney, 2005 and Karra et al., 2006), achieve market success by identifying family with brand identity (Craig, Dibrell, & Davis, 2008), and frequently have a long-term perspective (Le Breton-Miller & Miller, 2006). These characteristics shape family business strategy and can make family business strategy different from that found in non-family businesses. JFBS focuses on these distinct characteristics and their strategic implications and provides a publication outlet for scholarly research on this topic. Strategic management research predominantly explores large non-family businesses (see, e.g., Furrer et al., 2008 and Hoskisson et al., 1999). The focus is largely on strategy as a route to performance and primarily focuses on competitive strategies (Furrer et al., 2008). This is consistent with an increase in the use of secondary data in strategy research as secondary data almost always is derived from listed companies (particularly in the USA) and therefore widely available (Phelan, Ferreira, & Salvador, 2002). There is the open question as to the applicability of research results from large, primarily non-family businesses to family business, private business, and smaller business. Strategy research in entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is generally concerned with individuals or groups pursuing lucrative opportunities and driving the strategic decision making process particularly in new and emerging enterprises (see, e.g., Busenitz et al., 2003, Schendel and Hitt, 2007 and Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). Research in social and family psychology shows that families are a particular type of group bonded by kinship ties, norms, and altruism (Rothausen, 1999, Stewart, 2003 and Walters, 1982). Such ties are not financial, transactional, or market-based in nature – rather they are relational and systemic; a single relationship may affect an entire constellation of alliances (Cox & Paley, 1997). Therefore, families and family dynamics are likely to affect the strategy process differently than individuals or non-kinship groups and deserve special consideration (c.f., Chrisman et al., 2005, Dyer, 2003 and Litz, 1997). Likewise, business strategy affects family dynamics and likely cohesion and longevity. JFBS sheds light on all these dynamics. To present our thoughts on important topics in family business strategic thinking and to guide authors in developing submissions suitable to the scope and vision of the JFBS, we thought it would be helpful to elaborate on the scope of manuscripts we seek to publish in the following ten general themes. JFBS will gladly consider articles that are beyond these themes. The below are merely offered for guidance and do not represent any constraint on what is acceptable.