Theoretical Perspectives on Family Businesses

Theoretical Perspectives on Family Businesses

Edited by Mattias Nordqvist, Leif Melin, Mattias Waldkirch and Gershon Kumeto

Family business has become an increasingly studied field over the last decade and forms one of the fastest growing research areas today. The uniqueness of family businesses is the interaction between two systems; the family and the business systems, leading to specific characteristics that we rarely see in other types of businesses. In order to understand the interaction between the family and the business systems, researchers have adopted a diverse range of theories from different fields. The contributors provide a thorough discussion of thirteen theoretical perspectives that have been used in family business research to a varying degree. Each chapter introduces a theory, demonstrates its previous application in family business research and offers compelling ideas for future research that could contribute to both the family business field and the original theory behind it. This book aims to spark new insights for researchers and PhD students in the field of family business, and is also a good introduction for researchers who are new to the field.

Chapter 9: Organisational culture and the family business

Rocky Adiguna

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, organisational behaviour, organisation studies


This chapter aims to review the extant research on organisational culture in family business by covering its origin in organisation studies along with its application in the family business context. The review reveals that, despite the rich body of literature, the application of cultural perspectives in family business seemed to be one-sided—that is, dominated by those of positivistic and managerialist interests. In the attempt to rebalance the course of research in family business culture, this chapter discusses the different approaches in studying family business culture and, as a conclusion, proposes alternatives to advance our knowledge in both ways: to understand family business through cultural theories, as well as to understand culture through family business context. Keywords: organisational culture, value, family business

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