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 21: Strategy formulation in family businesses: a review and research agenda

Corinna M. Lindow


The effect of family on strategic firm behavior is a growing field of interest in the family business literature. Issues of family business strategy are considered an important area for future research (Harris et al., 1994), because this contributes to the development of a strategic management theory of the family business (Chrisman et al., 2008). The prime goal of scholars interested in this area is to understand whether the strategic behavior of family businesses is different from non-family businesses as well as different from diverse types of family businesses and, if so, how and why they differ (Chrisman et al., 2008). The underlying supposition therein is that the family significantly impacts the business and, therefore, its strategic behavior (Ward, 1987). The influence of family on strategy is seen as so central to the firm that Chua et al. (1999) chose to define family businesses in terms of the family domination of strategic decision-making. In particular, several researchers suggest that strategy formulation, that is, the ‘strategy process’ (e.g. Cromie et al., 1995; Sharma et al., 1997; Carlock and Ward, 2001) and ‘strategy content’ of firms (e.g. Aronoff and Ward, 1997; Sharma et al., 1997), are importantly influenced by the family (Dyer, 2003). Reviewing the existing literature on family business strategy serves as a starting point for promoting future research.

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