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 5: Strategy in family business: Recent findings and future challenges

G.T. Lumpkin and Gregory G. Dess

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business


Family firms represent a major engine of economic growth and wealth creation (Astrachan & Shanker, 2003). Young, small firms represent a substantial portion of the new job creation and innovation in the US economy (Birch, Haggerty, & Parsons, 1994), and many of today’s new ventures are family-based. A growing body of research indicates that family-controlled businesses outperform non-family businesses (e.g., Anderson & Reeb, 2003). Compared to firms in general, however, less is known about the strategic orientations and organizational processes that drive family firms (Sharma, Chrisman, & Chua, 1997). Although a few studies have investigated family firm strategic postures (e.g., Daily & Thompson, 1994), the strategic methods employed by family firms, many of which are highly entrepreneurial, are not well understood. A growing body of research suggests that family businesses are fundamentally different from non-family businesses (e.g., Miller & Le Breton-Miller, 2005). Beneath this important conclusion, however, questions persist about how family firms behave and what makes them different.

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