Advisor

Kellermanns, Franz W.

Committee Member

Chrisman, James J.

Committee Member

Marler, Laura E.

Committee Member

Otondo, Robert F.

Committee Member

Hoffman, David M.

Date of Degree

1-1-2012

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Business

Abstract

Family businesses comprise 80 to 90 percent of all businesses in North America (Shanker & Astrachan, 1996) and account for 60 percent of total U.S. employment (Hutcheson, 1999). Furthermore, 34 percent of the businesses listed on the S&P’s 500 Index are family businesses (Anderson & Reeb, 2003). There are three primary purposes of this dissertation. First, based on a review of the kinship, anthropology, and family business literatures, a definition of family for use in family business research is proposed. Second, specific patterns of family member involvement in a sample of 1,000 family businesses associated with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are identified in order to conduct further testing regarding the research questions framing this dissertation. Third, the specific patterns identified are utilized to determine if geographic location and/or industry type influence family member involvement in the family business. Furthermore, these patterns are utilized to determine if specific patterns of family member involvement influence intentions for transgenerational succession. Results indicate that the geographic location of the family business as well as the type of industry the family business is operating in do influence specific patterns of family member involvement. Furthermore, the results obtained from investigating the research questions in this dissertation indicate that specific patterns of family member involvement as well as the geographic location of the family business do influence intentions for transgenerational succession. This dissertation contributes to knowledge by proposing a definition of family for use in family business research. Furthermore, this dissertation is one of the first studies to specifically investigate patterns of family member involvement in the family business. Finally, this dissertation utilizes specific patterns of family member involvement to see if any differences in family member involvement arise based on geographic location or industry type as well as whether these specific patterns or the geographic location of the family business influence intentions for transgenerational succession. Recommendations for future theoretical and empirical research as well as practical implications for family business scholars, owners, and managers are also discussed.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/18908

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