How Technology and Entrepreneurship are Shaping the Development of Industries and Companies
Edited by François Thérin
Chapter 3: Technology in family business studies. A bibliometric analysis (1991-2012)
Technology is a critical component of the success of firms, particularly in the current era, which is characterised by a hypercompetitive and turbulent business environment. A recent survey that was conducted by Microsoft (2007), the worldwide leader in software, services and technological solutions, indicated that family businesses demonstrate a strong resistance to acquiring and using technological solutions and tools to solve their problems and manage their businesses. This conclusion appears to be particularly applicable to small family businesses in which older and younger generations of family members must jointly decide whether and how they will invest in technology. In general, compared with younger individuals, older individuals are more reluctant to invest money towards improving their firmsí technological capabilities. The predominant technologies that relate to family businesses are internet access and personal computers. This situation demonstrates both the underestimation of the role of technology that occurs in the context of family businesses and the importance of studies that conduct in-depth analyses of technology within this context. Given the statements above, this chapter conducts a bibliometric analysis of academic articles that reference technology and technological innovation in examinations of family businesses. To accomplish this analysis, the first portion of this chapter is devoted to the presentation of the theoretical background underlying this topic; in particular, this portion of the chapter discusses the pervasive nature of family businesses and the role of technology in family businesses.
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