Despite their widely acknowledged economic significance family owned business
have largely been ignored by the local business research community. This has
led to a lack of understanding of the unique features of family firms and how to
manage their challenges. These challenges, particularly during transition
periods, often result in conflicts that can be destructive to both firm and family
and may contribute to the high mortality rate of family owned firms.
Discontinuity of ownership or executive leadership, the distribution of power
and assets and the role of the business in the community are also major
challenges for family businesses. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the
significance of, and challenges confronting family businesses; to outline
research approaches and opportunities; and to describe institutional
developments aimed at facilitating the execution of local family business
research. This paper distils the essence of overseas research and integrates it
with the limited descriptions we have of Australian family businesses to identify approaches and frameworks for the pursuit of family business research.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ken_moores/40/