Handbook of Research on Family Business, Second Edition
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Handbook of Research on Family Business, Second Edition

Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel

During the previous decade, the multi-disciplinary field of family business has advanced significantly in terms of advances in theory, development of sophisticated empirical instruments, systematic measurement of family business activity, use of alternative research methodologies and deployment of robust tools of analysis. This second edition of the Handbook of Research on Family Business presents important research and conceptual developments across a broad range of topics. The contributors – notable researchers in the field – explore the frontiers of knowledge in family business entrepreneurship and stimulate critical thinking, enriching the repository of theoretical frameworks and methodologies.
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Chapter 12: Towards a comprehensive model of sustainable family firm performance

Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini, Alain Bloch and Sophie Mignon


The recent crisis has shown the potential flaws in an economic and financial system functioning solely in the interests of short-term efficiency. In the current climate of debate and questioning of modern capitalism principles, sustainable family firms (SFFs) offer several insights into company management. Certain characteristics specific to SFFs, such as long-term success, the concentration of share ownership, the search for reliability as well as intra-and inter-organizational relations are worth analysing more closely. They could indicate a currently very fashionable capacity to integrate business development into the notion of sustainability. Considering the important role of SFFs in the economy, our aim is therefore to offer a framework to enhance the understanding of their performance. They represent a significant proportion of economic activity and offer a potential model for the development of other businesses which, while lacking intrinsic family characteristics, would do well to draw inspiration from them. Hence the framework we suggest will be useful for practitioners either operating within family business or not. Furthermore, it will offer scholars an innovative way to think about SFFs because the framework tends to mobilize concepts that were suggested in management research but have not been specifically applied to the case of family business so far.

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