Handbook of Research on Family Business
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Handbook of Research on Family Business

Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein

The Handbook of Research on Family Business provides a comprehensive first port of call for those wishing to survey progress in the theory and practice of family business research. In response to the extensive growth of family business as a topic of academic inquiry, the principal objective of the Handbook is to provide an authoritative and scholarly overview of current thinking in this multidisciplinary field.
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Chapter 27: Family-Firm Relationships in Italian SMEs: Ownership and Governance Issues in a Double-Fold Theoretical Perspective

Luca Gnan and Daniela Montemerlo


28 Longevity of Japanese family firms Toshio Goto Introduction This chapter presents an overview of Japanese family firms, highlighting their longevity based on empirical data to provide a broad view of their uniqueness as well as their commonality when compared with their counterparts in other countries. The study aims to fill some gaps in the research on family firms from a Japanese point of view by proposing that, although there are important differences in the factors contributing to the longevity of Japanese family firms compared with their counterparts in other parts of the world, there are also some factors which are held in common with family firms in the rest of the world. These factors will be examined to test the validity of this proposition. The first part of the chapter focuses on aspects of the longevity of Japanese family firms. As a part of this research, a total of 1157 family firms that have been in operation for more than 200 years were identified. The major attributes, including age, industry segment and geographical distribution of these long-lived firms are given, along with a brief description of the background of selected industries. In order to better understand the magnitude of Japanese family firms’ longevity, a preliminary survey was also conducted on the longevity of family firms worldwide. The second part is devoted to the analysis of three major factors contributing to the longevity of Japanese firms, with a special focus on the Tokugawa period of 1603 to 1867...

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