Elgar original reference
Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein
Introduction: The Business of Researching Family Enterprises
Panikkos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein The Handbook of Family Business Research is a substantial collection of papers manifesting recent advances in the theory and practice of family business research. This compilation is, to a large extent, in response to the extensive growth of the family business discipline as a topic of academic inquiry. The principal objective underlying this volume was to provide readers with a compilation of authoritative and scholarly papers, providing an overview of current thinking and contributing to the further advancement of the ﬁeld. Emergence of a family business theme Family enterprises, irrespective of scale of operation, legal form, industrial activity, and level of socio-political and market development have been the backbone of corporate life, across nations, remaining a cornerstone of socio-economic development. Historically, family ﬁrms are, for the most part, enduring institutions. Their importance parallels socio-cultural advances, technological advances, and the so-called new market order associated with globalization. Family business research, as an academic ﬁeld of inquiry, is relatively young. The emergence of this topic of research can be attributed largely to the proactive approach of family business practitioners whose early eﬀorts focused on practice-based articles and case studies, as noted by Donnelley (1964) and Barnes and Hershon (1976). Arguably, in the early days, treatment of this topic from the practitioners’ side has often been subjected to journalistic exploitation, whilst from an academic perspective research has tended to be data driven. Despite adoption of increasingly sophisticated empirical and analytic procedures, causal-based...