The Landscape of Family Business

The Landscape of Family Business

Edited by Ritch L. Sorenson, Andy Yu, Keith H. Brigham and G. T. Lumpkin

The Landscape of Family Business expands upon groundbreaking research to offer owners, consultants, and academics a new holistic way to view family business.

Chapter 1: Understanding the landscape of family business

Andy Yu

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business


Yu, Lumpkin, Sorenson, and Brigham (2012) recently published a paper titled, “The landscape of family business outcomes: A summary and numerical taxonomy of dependent variables.” One purpose of that paper was to summarize outcomes (dependent measures) used in empirical family business research, and another was to identify areas for future research. As a result of Yu et al.’s (2012) research, a new visual framework for understanding family business was developed. The figure, titled the “Landscape of Family Business Outcomes,” was created to help family business scholars and owners understand the importance and impact of family business outcomes. Understanding these outcomes is critical for both family business owners and researchers; it confirms what we know about family businesses and what we need to know in the future to create more positive outcomes. To achieve their goals and identify the outcome measures being used in family business research and identify future areas of study, Yu et al. (2012) asked three questions: “(a) What dependent variables are currently used in family business research and which ones are unique to the domain? (b) What are the relationships among those dependent variables? (c) What dependent variables are missing from family business research or deserve more attention?”(p. 34).