The Landscape of Family Business
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The Landscape of Family Business

Edited by Ritch L. Sorenson, Andy Yu, Keith H. Brigham and G. T. Lumpkin

The Landscape of Family Business expands upon groundbreaking research to offer owners, consultants, and academics a new holistic way to view family business.
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Chapter 7: Family dynamics in the family business

Kirby Rosplock


One of the special aspects of the family firm is the unique involvement, influence, and interplay of the family within the business context. The manners in which the family dynamics enhance the family business as an organizational form differentiate it from other mainstream corporations. Family dynamics can be both an enhancement and sometimes a liability to the business. Because the family business is the most prevalent form of business (La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, & Shleifer, 1999; Shanker & Astrachan, 1996 ), the field of study is still relatively young, and better understanding of the role of family dynamics in the business is crucial. I approach this chapter from the perspective of a family business owner, scholar, and advisor. I was fortunate to be born into a multi-generational family lumber business and am currently a fourth-generation owner. My interest and passion extended beyond the confines of my family’s enterprise, and I have been a student of family business studies for over a decade, earning an MBA and a doctorate in organizational systems.

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