Conflicts in family firms: state of the art and perspectives for future research

Hermann Frank (Research Institute for Family Business, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria)
Alexander Kessler (Institute for Management and Entrepreneurship, FHWien University of Applied Sciences of WKW, Vienna, Austria)
Lavinia Nosé (Research Institute for Family Business, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria)
Daniela Suchy (Research Institute for Family Business, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Publication date: 30 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to provide a systematic overview of the literature dealing with business‐related conflicts between family members in (their) family firms (FF). On the basis of this focus, the research questions are: Which delimitable topics with regard to contents can be identified in the literature on conflicts in FF? Which findings are available referring to this and how were they generated? Which options can be derived for future research?

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a systematic literature review including articles published in peer‐reviewed academic journals from January 1990 to June 2010.

Findings

It was found that three distinguishable topical areas can be identified: causes for conflicts in FF; effects of conflicts in FF; and management of conflicts in FF.

Research limitations/implications

The small number of contributions calls for further studies with replication studies as a promising option. Due to the specific nature of the conflict dynamic and logic in FF, which can hardly be captured by quantitative studies alone (even with longitudinal designs), a promotion of qualitative studies is advisable, too. In this regard, a systems‐theoretical perspective could utilize the capability of this theory and strengthen the theoretical foundation of research on conflicts in FF.

Originality/value

This review shows three rather clearly distinguishable research streams and offers options for future research, with a special focus of modern systems theory which conceptualizes conflicts as a special system within the family business system.

Keywords

Citation

Frank, H., Kessler, A., Nosé, L. and Suchy, D. (2011), "Conflicts in family firms: state of the art and perspectives for future research", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 130-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/20436231111167219

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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