Theoretical Perspectives on Family Businesses

Edited by Mattias Nordqvist, Leif Melin, Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden, Matthias Waldkirch, Strascheg Institute for Innovation, Transformation and Entrepreneurship, Germany and Gershon Kumeto, Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden

Family business has become an increasingly studied field over the last decade and forms one of the fastest growing research areas today. The uniqueness of family businesses is the interaction between two systems; the family and the business systems, leading to specific characteristics that we rarely see in other types of businesses. In order to understand the interaction between the family and the business systems, researchers have adopted a diverse range of theories from different fields.

The contributors provide a thorough discussion of thirteen theoretical perspectives that have been used in family business research to a varying degree. Each chapter introduces a theory, demonstrates its previous application in family business research and offers compelling ideas for future research that could contribute to both the family business field and the original theory behind it. This book aims to spark new insights for researchers and PhD students in the field of family business, and is also a good introduction for researchers who are new to the field.

‘This is an excellent book that provides a much needed overview of theoretical frameworks that help us understand the behavior of family firms. This book will be invaluable as a resource to doctoral students and researchers who are trying to analyze decision making in family firms and the factors that shape management processes in these organizations. The book is very comprehensive in its coverage, addressing most major theoretical frameworks that have recently been applied to examine phenomena unique to family firms. These include, among others, organizational ecology, behavioral theory, agency theory, behavioral agency theory, and social identity theory. This book is a must read for family business scholars.’
– Luis Gomez-Mejia, University of Notre Dame, US

‘A common criticism of family business as a field of study is the lack of well-developed, theoretically grounded research. This important book edited by Nordqvist, Melin, Waldkirch and Kumeto promises to change this widely held view. The book brings into focus important theoretical perspectives that have rich implications for research on family firms. Well established and emerging perspectives are covered in the book, highlighting different debates that are likely to shape future scholarship in the field. Chapters are easy to read and concepts as well as theories are clearly explained and their usefulness is made evident. I compliment the editors on a job well done in recognizing the challenges of theorizing about family business and mapping out the territory of tomorrow's research.’
– Shaker A. Zahra, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, US

‘Theoretical Perspectives on Family Business is a unique book in family business studies. Each of its 13 chapters are written by doctoral students at the world renowned Jönköping International Business School in Sweden. Each chapter highlights a different theoretical perspective that has been used to understand the unique dynamics of family enterprises and ends with exciting ideas for future research. An inspirational reading for all students of family business studies – young and old, new and seasoned!’
– Pramodita Sharma, University of Vermont and Editor, Family Business Review

‘This collection fills a much-needed void in the family business field and should become the mainstay of any doctoral program with a family business focus. The review of highly relevant theories and their use in the field will serve scholars for years to come.’
– Joseph H. Astrachan, Kennesaw State University, US and Co-Editor and Founder of the Journal of Family Business Strategy

‘I love the concept behind the creation of this book: senior scholars, through a series of meetings, recruited PhD students from all over Europe to work together to create a highly diverse set of critical reviews about the various ways in which family businesses might be studied in the 21st century. It is certainly eye-opening to see how a highly motivated set of junior scholars can offer fresh views of this rapidly changing field.’
– Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina, US

2015 296 pp Hardback 978 1 78347 965 8 £100.00 £90.00 $145.00 $130.50

Elgaronline 978 1 78347 966 5

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

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