Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Family Business, Second Edition

Handbook of Research on Family Business, Second Edition

Elgar original reference

Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel

During the previous decade, the multi-disciplinary field of family business has advanced significantly in terms of advances in theory, development of sophisticated empirical instruments, systematic measurement of family business activity, use of alternative research methodologies and deployment of robust tools of analysis. This second edition of the Handbook of Research on Family Business presents important research and conceptual developments across a broad range of topics. The contributors – notable researchers in the field – explore the frontiers of knowledge in family business entrepreneurship and stimulate critical thinking, enriching the repository of theoretical frameworks and methodologies.

Chapter 23: Extensions of the Sustainable Family Business Theory: operationalization and application

Ramona Kay Zachary, Sharon M. Danes and Kathryn Stafford

Subjects: business and management, family business, strategic management


Sustainable Family Business Theory (SFBT) is delineated herein by summarizing its components, systems orientation and its major theoretical propositions as well as exploring its operationalization and application. SFBT posits entrepreneurship and the business within the social context of the family and its community. Moreover, its unique comprehensive approach to the study of the family business emphasizes the interaction of the family and business systems while recognizing the different characteristics of each. The SFBT suggests testable relationships between and among independent and dependent variables in its propositions. Furthermore, Sztompka (1974) indicated that a theory’s propositions need to have been tested to truly be designated a theory. That research is described in this chapter. While the business enterprise is integral to the long-run sustainability of the family firm, the family brings together and creates the forces behind emerging and sustained entrepreneurial behavior. Any family business theory must embrace a comprehensive, multidisciplinary view of the complex and dynamic phenomenon of business that is owned and operated by family members. The family, with its own dynamics, is an important and fundamental entity for creating and sustaining behaviors described in the literature as entrepreneurial behavior or experience (Cramton, 1993; Danes et al., 2008a; Rogoff and Heck, 2003; Sharma, 2004; Stafford et al., 1999; Zachary, 2011). Family capital, the total resources of owning family members, is the fodder for short-term family business success and long-term sustainability (Danes et al., 2009c).

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