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 26: Small family business contributions to the economy: an enterprise population level study

Antti Kirmanen and Juha Kansikas


This study aims to analyse small family firms’ contribution at the Finnish economy. This contribution is measured through their share of the Finnish small enterprise population, their contribution to employment and the gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, their distribution among industries is examined. In general discussion, family business is often considered as a synonym for a small business. There is, however, a plethora of large corporations that are controlled by a single business family (Family Entrepreneurship Working Group, 2005, p. 24). Nevertheless, the majority of family businesses are small and medium-sized firms (ibdi., p. 20); however, comprehensive studies, which concentrate particularly on small family businesses role in economies, are lacking. However, research on family businesses’ contribution to various economies, regardless of their size, has been done. According to various research, family businesses are a significant and valuable resource for economies around the world (e.g. Flören, 1998; Shanker and Astrachan, 1996; Klein, 2000; Tourunen, 2009). Family businesses’ proportion of the whole enterprise population is often stated to lie between 80 per cent and 100 per cent (FEWG, 2005, p. 9; Flören, 1998, p. 122). Consequently, family businesses have been noted to contribute remarkably to employment and GDP in various countries (e.g. Flören, 1998, p. 129; Shanker and Astrachan, 1996, pp. 110–16).

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