Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Chrisman, James J.

Committee Member

Barnett, Tim

Committee Member

Kellermanns, Franz W.

Committee Member

Baker, LaKami

Committee Member

Jones, W. Daryl

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Business


Department of Management and Information Systems


Family firms are replete with problems concerning family and business issues but they remain the most dominant form of business worldwide. Decisions about strategy, structure, and goals of the firm play an integral part in the distinction of family firms from nonamily firms (Chrisman, Chua & Sharma, 2005) and these decisions are further complicated in the family firm by the interaction of the family and business systems (Stafford, Duncan, Danes & Winter, 1999). Sharma (2000) and Chrisman and colleagues (2005) call for research of this interaction through the utilization of stakeholder theory because family firms involve a specific array of stakeholders with different stakes and different levels of salience. This dissertation further investigates the interaction of the family and the business in a new and interesting way. This will be the first attempt to investigate the way stakeholders and their salience affects the goals and performance of family firms. The dissertation developed below focuses on the differences that exist among the salience of stakeholders in the family firm. I first develop theory-based hypotheses on a variety of relationships within the family and family firm that will contribute to a better understanding of the behavior of family firms. Second, I describe the research methodology and sample design to be utilized to test the developed hypotheses. I expect my results to not only empirically validate my research questions but to also provide practical and useful information for future research in this area. The aim of this study is to contribute to knowledge by empirically testing a framework for stakeholder salience in the family firm as well as assessing how the salience of particular groups affect the performance of family firms.



agency theory||management||stakeholder salience||stakeholder theory||family firm