Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel
During recent decades the academic research in the area of family business has grown notably. A wide variety of tools and approaches from different disciplines has illuminated our understanding of the distinctive features and problems faced by any family firm; and, more precisely, on the interaction among each family member’s different goals and interests concerning the firm, whether as manager, owner, worker or potential heir. In fact, many authors have claimed that building and improving the conceptual knowledge base is a priority in this field. With respect to economic theory, despite the significance of family firms even in developed economies, only a few works have been interested in unveiling the decision-making process concerning the family members interacting with and within the family business in an economic environment. One reason may be that, to tackle the family firm’s features different theoretical frameworks are required, comprising, for instance, the classical consumer theory, the theory of the firm, the theory of human capital, financial economics or the agency theory of asymmetric information. In fact, the existing theoretical literature displays disparate analytical settings as the foundation of empirical works or focuses on a particular facet of the family business, but without a unified and comprehensive framework.
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