Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel
Chapter 23: Extensions of the Sustainable Family Business Theory: operationalization and application
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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