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A systematic examination of the family business contributions: is this domain a legitimate field of research?

Chelsea Sherlock (Department of Management and Information Systems, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA)
Erik Markin (Department of Management and Information Systems, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA)
R. Gabrielle Swab (Department of Management, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA)
Victoria Antin Yates (Department of Entrepreneurship, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 27 December 2022

56

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyze family business research, which has experienced tremendous growth. Through this study’s categorization and evaluation of research, the authors illustrate the evolution of family business research in management, entrepreneurship and family business domains over the past decade.

Design/methodology/approach

This study provides an interdisciplinary systematic review of family business literature between 2008 and 2022 to analyze the family business field. Following similar previous reviews (Chrisman et al., 2003; Debicki et al., 2009), this study’s final sample includes 1,443 studies, which the authors categorize into six broad topics and 21 subcategories of management topics.

Findings

This study’s analysis reveals the field has grown nearly fivefold since 2007. As such, the authors examine the growth and decline of specific research topics. The authors also find in the past decade family business research has experienced rapid growth across a variety of outlets, signaling increasing reach, richness and legitimacy of the field.

Originality/value

By reviewing and analyzing 1,443 family business articles, the results illustrate the evolution of family business research over the past decade and what this means for its future. Based on this study’s systematic review, the authors offer insights into the state of the field and propose avenues for future research so the field can continue to prosper.

Keywords

Citation

Sherlock, C., Markin, E., Swab, R.G. and Antin Yates, V. (2022), "A systematic examination of the family business contributions: is this domain a legitimate field of research?", Journal of Management History, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-08-2022-0031

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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