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