The family business represents a subset of the whole range of enter prises, and, therefore, it has all the essential requisites of them. However, it is characterized by the strong relationship with one or more families which, by providing the risk capital, constitute it. Consequently, its functionality strictly depends on the evolution through which these family units go and on the decisions that they make inside of them. Italian and international scholars had devoted particular attention to small- and medium-sized businesses, often considered as transitional phases for a dimensional development of the enterprise. The empirical evidence has actually disproved these assumptions, leading to the conclusion that even small- and medium-sized businesses can achieve high levels of success without necessarily increasing their dimensions. Starting from the eighties of the last century, business studies have considerably developed in this respect. The family business has now assumed an important role in the national and international scene, thus attracting an increasing interest in the theoretical and empirical research. The wide and rich literature on family businesses has highlighted a variety of topics, such as the understanding of the success and development factors of family businesses, the peculiarities of their management models, their corporate governance, their valuation, and, generally, the specificity of small- and medium sized businesses. Today, a definition of a family business, which is unanimously accepted by the scholars of the field, is nonexistent. Therefore, this work aims at identifying those aspects, which are typical of a family business. Moreover, the abovesaid paper highlights too some other aspects, useful to identify family busi nesses from nonfamily ones. Finally, the paper wishes to examine how the identi fied variables (such as the ownership, dimensions, succession, and involvement of family members) affect the family business performance.

Specific Features of Family Businesses: A Contribution to Literature

CRISTIANO, Elena
2017-01-01

Abstract

The family business represents a subset of the whole range of enter prises, and, therefore, it has all the essential requisites of them. However, it is characterized by the strong relationship with one or more families which, by providing the risk capital, constitute it. Consequently, its functionality strictly depends on the evolution through which these family units go and on the decisions that they make inside of them. Italian and international scholars had devoted particular attention to small- and medium-sized businesses, often considered as transitional phases for a dimensional development of the enterprise. The empirical evidence has actually disproved these assumptions, leading to the conclusion that even small- and medium-sized businesses can achieve high levels of success without necessarily increasing their dimensions. Starting from the eighties of the last century, business studies have considerably developed in this respect. The family business has now assumed an important role in the national and international scene, thus attracting an increasing interest in the theoretical and empirical research. The wide and rich literature on family businesses has highlighted a variety of topics, such as the understanding of the success and development factors of family businesses, the peculiarities of their management models, their corporate governance, their valuation, and, generally, the specificity of small- and medium sized businesses. Today, a definition of a family business, which is unanimously accepted by the scholars of the field, is nonexistent. Therefore, this work aims at identifying those aspects, which are typical of a family business. Moreover, the abovesaid paper highlights too some other aspects, useful to identify family busi nesses from nonfamily ones. Finally, the paper wishes to examine how the identi fied variables (such as the ownership, dimensions, succession, and involvement of family members) affect the family business performance.
978-3-319-39918-8
Family businesses • Specific features • Literature review • Ownership structure • Succession
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/149289
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