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 17: Exploring human resource management in family firms: a summary of what we know and ideas for future development

Isabel C. Botero and Shanan R. Litchfield


As a result of the technological revolution and other changes in the twentyfirst century, the importance of human capital and human resources for organizations has changed. While 100 years ago companies were creating standardized products and viewed employees as expendable, organizations today are more specialized and depend on the intellectual capital of their employees to succeed (Cascio, 2009). Thus attracting, retaining and managing human resources is critical for the success of organizations in today’s economy (Rynes and Cable, 2003). In the last two decades, the importance of people to organizations and their success has been highlighted by both the academic (Birdi et al., 2008; Wright et al., 2001) and popular press (Pfeffer, 1998; Senge, 2006). In general, the belief is that employees and their performance have implications for firm-level outcomes (Barney, 1991; Barney and Wright, 1998; Huselid, 1995). Rooted in this belief there has been an interest in understanding how organizations manage their human resources to support business strategy and provide value to the firm. Human resource management (HRM) has been the area of research that has explored the management of people in the organization. HRM is the process and activities organizations use to attract, develop and maintain their workforce with the intention of supporting and helping advance the mission, the objectives and the strategies of the organization (Cascio, 2009; Schermerhorn, 2001).

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