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Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein
Chapter 2: An Overview of the Field of Family Business Studies: Current Status and Directions for the Future
2 An overview of the ﬁeld of family business studies: current status and directions for the future Pramodita Sharma Whether measured in terms of number of published articles,1 publication outlets,2 schools oﬀering family business programs,3 research support provided by private donors and foundations,4 or the membership of family ﬁrm associations,5 the interest in family business studies is increasing. As a ﬁeld of study develops, it is important to intermittently pause to evaluate the progress made and reﬂect on the directions to pursue in future so as to gain deeper insights into the phenomenon of interest. The purpose of this review is to provide such a reﬂective moment for the ﬁeld of family business studies, as the primary scholarly journal of the ﬁeld, Family Business Review, embarks on its new journey with Blackwell Publishing. The guiding principle of any professional investigation in social sciences is to clarify our understanding of the segment of the social world that is of interest (Lindblom and Cohen, 1979). Scholars and practitioners interested in family ﬁrm studies seek to gain new insights and knowledge into the causal processes that underlie these ﬁrms (cf. Lewin, 1940). Theory is an eﬃcient tool that guides the development of knowledge because it helps make connections among observed phenomenon, thereby helping build conceptual frameworks that stimulate understanding (Sutton and Staw, 1995). It aids in building connections between the work at hand and preexisting research, thus making use of our cumulative knowledge to...
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