Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein
Chapter 32: Family Ownership, Corporate Governance and Firm Value: Evidence from the Spanish Market
Epilogue: theory building and the survival of family ﬁrms – three promising research directions Shaker A. Zahra, Sabine B. Klein and Joseph H. Astrachan These are times of profound change around the globe. Family businesses, the most enduring and venerable organizational form, are under immense pressure to adapt in order to exploit emerging opportunities in their domestic and international markets. Without successful adaptation, these ﬁrms can lose their competitive standing and sources of competitive advantage, which could lead to their demise. Regrettably, family business owners looking at the voluminous literature for guidance are apt to be disappointed. Research on family ﬁrms is fragmented and non-cumulative, and lacks good theoretical grounding (Zahra and Sharma, 2004), suggesting a need for more creative theory building by capitalizing upon the unique qualities of family ﬁrms, especially their cultures and histories that determine family dynamics and decision-making. A ‘systems approach’ is clearly needed to build and test such a theory. Furthermore, the ﬁeld has to develop a common language to ensure that communication is taking place between the disciplines involved such as organizational behavior, strategy and ﬁnance. In this chapter, we sketch out some ways that could expedite our progress in developing theory that guides futures research into family ﬁrms and helps their owners (managers) achieve superior performance. We believe that one theory, or meta-theory, cannot fully capture the richness and diversity of family ﬁrms, their cultures, systems and managerial styles. Instead, in-depth research of the different variables is needed before a theory of the family...
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