Chapter 7: What does the literature say? Performing a systematic literature review in family business research
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A systematic literature review is a replicable process to provide a broad overview of a literature stream, while reducing scholarly subjective biases. With the increasing number of articles studying family business phenomena, theories, and topics across multiple disciplines, there is a need to understand what different studies tell us and where knowledge gaps may exist. Accordingly, this chapter creates guidelines and rules of thumb on conducting family business systematic literature reviews. Given the breadth of family business research across several domains and outlets, we address how conducting a literature review in the family business domain differs from reviews in other fields. We highlight how scholars can evaluate the distinctive features of family firms (e.g., ownership, legacy, transgenerational aspirations, etc.) to supplement the depth of our understanding of family business phenomena, theories, and topics. Lastly, we present an overarching review framework to guide future reviews and further develop family business scholarship.

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