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 14: Resource based theory and the family business

Per Hansson

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


This chapter focuses on the resource based view theory. I discuss where this theory comes from and how it has been used in previous research. The chapter argues for the theory’s relevance for family business research and shows how it has been used in family business research to date. The chapter provides an overview of the theory, describing its origins, fundamental assumptions and building blocks and the most important general references to the theory. The focus is on the resource based view of family firms in research, now and for the future, and the connection between resource based theory and the family business context. I discuss how the theory can be linked to family business and why the theory is relevant for use in the family business field – connecting the primary ideas in the theory and the primary characteristics of family businesses. Keywords: resource -based theory, resource management, competitive advantage, family business

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