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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2001

Robert N. Lussier, Matthew C. Sonfield, Joel Corman and Mary McKinney

This descriptive study of 184 small firms identified strategies most frequently used by their managers. These strategies were identified using the Entrepreneurial Strategy…

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647

Abstract

This descriptive study of 184 small firms identified strategies most frequently used by their managers. These strategies were identified using the Entrepreneurial Strategy Matrix, a situational model in which the identification of levels of innovation and risk lead to prescriptions of appropriate strategies. Concurrently, this model was empirically tested and its validity supported. Of the strategies used, the five most common were: “work to create a competitive advantage,” “maintain innovation,” “lower the costs of developing and/or maintaining one’s venture,” “defend product/service as it is now,” and “create a first mover advantage.” In addition, there were no differences between the use of strategies by entrepreneurs in service and manufacturing industries.

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American Journal of Business, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2004

Robert N. Lussier and Matthew C. Sonfield

In the literature of family business, certain management activities, styles and characteristics have been most frequently examined. Yet no prior research focusing on the…

Abstract

In the literature of family business, certain management activities, styles and characteristics have been most frequently examined. Yet no prior research focusing on the relationship between these family businesses variables has been found. This is a survey‐research correlation study of 149 family businesses. Of the twelve variables studied, twenty of the sixty‐six correlations were found to be significant. Major findings are the consistent use of professional management activities, styles and characteristics in family businesses, and that using non‐family members within top management does not significantly increase the professionalism of management of such businesses.

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American Journal of Business, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2019

Josiane Fahed Sreih, Robert N. Lussier and Matthew C. Sonfield

The purpose of this paper is to, first, investigate the differences between generations in family businesses and, second, develop and verify the Family Business Success…

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1652

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to, first, investigate the differences between generations in family businesses and, second, develop and verify the Family Business Success Model ability to improve the probability of business success measured by perceived profits, growth and meeting the owners’ expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through questionnaires and personal interviews. Overall, 98 usable questionnaires were collected for statistical analysis with a response rate of 82 percent.

Findings

One-way ANOVA hypotheses testing of the variables found four significant differences between generations. Regression analysis found the Family Business Success Model to be significant. Family business owners can improve the probability of success by utilizing a team-management decision-making approach, effectively handling conflict effectively, formulating specific succession plans, developing strategic plans, using sophisticated financial management methods, dealing effectively with the founder’s influence and if they seek to grow, they should consider going public.

Practical implications

This study provides family business owners, managers, educators and public policy makers with the means to help family businesses survive and grow effectively throughout generations by using the Family Business Success Model. In addition, this study can help consultants and advisors of family businesses to understand the differences between the first, second and third generation family businesses from a holistic perspective and help them implement the family business model.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature as one of the few studies in the Lebanese emerging market that examines how the first, second and third generations of family businesses differ. More importantly, it develops a Family Business Success Model that improves the probability of success.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2008

Matthew C. Sonfield and Robert N. Lussier

This is an empirical study of family firm size, as measured by the number of employees, and the relationship of a firmʼs size to a variety of management activities…

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1673

Abstract

This is an empirical study of family firm size, as measured by the number of employees, and the relationship of a firmʼs size to a variety of management activities, styles, and characteristics. A statistical analysis of data drawn from 159 American family businesses indicates significant differences by size with regard to the number of nonfamily members in top management, use of outside advisors, time spent engaged in strategic management, use of sophisticated methods of financial management, proportion of women family members involved in firm management, and level of conflict between family members. Implications are offered for family firm owner-managers, for those who assist such businesses, and for researchers in the field of family business.

Details

New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2574-8904

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Matthew C. Sonfield and Robert N. Lussier

The purpose of this study is to investigate five well‐established issues of gender stereotype, analyzing data obtained from 811 family businesses in eight diverse…

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1198

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate five well‐established issues of gender stereotype, analyzing data obtained from 811 family businesses in eight diverse countries, with the objective of testing the relationship between male and female owner/managers of these businesses and these stereotypes in a managerial context.

Design/methodology/approach

This eight country study involved survey research using hierarchal regression to test five hypotheses involving gender stereotypes relating to family business management. The eight countries, USA, Egypt, France, Argentina, Serbia, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Croatia, provided a mixture of entrepreneurial demographics and context.

Findings

Only one hypothesis supported a gender stereotype. As the percentage of female managers increases, so does the use of group rather than individual decision‐making. The other four variables – formal versus informal management style, conflict among family members, use of sophisticated financial analysis, and use of outside consultants, advisors and professional services – did not change significantly with the percentage of female owner/managers. For control variables, as the number of employees increased, the percentage of female owner/managers decreased, and females tended to own/manage service, rather than product, firms.

Practical implications

These findings offer “theory into practice” implications for owner/managers of family businesses, as well as for those who assist such businesses.

Originality/value

These findings provide a theoretical contribution to the study of family business because clear answers to gender management similarities and differences in family firms remain elusive, and these results expand, modify and clarify the understanding of gender issues in family business.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Matthew C. Sonfield

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the current status and the development of ethnic minority businesses in the USA and in the UK. Comparing the two countries’ past…

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1132

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the current status and the development of ethnic minority businesses in the USA and in the UK. Comparing the two countries’ past, current, and likely future situations and recognizing that each situation offers some lessons to the other, implications for minority business owners and for those who assist or study such businesses in each country are presented.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents descriptive research and analysis, developed from a thorough study of governmental and non-governmental minority business assistance programs, and of corporate procurement programs, utilizing both primary and secondary sources; governmental, non-governmental organization and corporate publications; and the existing academic and practitioner literature.

Findings

Practitioners, consultants, and researchers in both the USA and the UK face considerable regulatory, demographic and other challenges and opportunities over the coming years with regard to the status and progress of minority-owned businesses and the appropriate nature of public and private policies and programs to foster and assist such businesses. Each country can benefit from the other's experience, as discussed and explained in this paper.

Practical implications

Specific recommendations are provided for those involved with targeted assistance programs in each country – for practitioners, governmental, and non-governmental program administrators, consultants to such businesses, and those who conduct research with this focus.

Originality/value

A search of the existing literature indicates that research with this focus has not been previously published.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Robert N. Lussier and Matthew C. Sonfield

The purpose of this article is to measure and compare differences in levels of family business planning for succession in seven countries: Croatia, Egypt, France, India…

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4931

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to measure and compare differences in levels of family business planning for succession in seven countries: Croatia, Egypt, France, India, Kosovo, Kuwait, and the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology was survey research collecting data from seven countries. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was run to test for differences in family business succession planning between countries, controlling for years in business, number of employees, industry, and type of ownership. ANCOVA was followed by a post hoc pairwise comparisons least significant difference (LSD) to determine which countries did have significant differences in their extent of succession planning.

Findings

The paper finds that there were statistically significant differences in family business succession planning between Croatia, Egypt, France, Kosovo, Kuwait, and the USA. However, there were no statistically significant differences between India and the other six countries.

Research limitations/implications

There is a growing body of literature focusing on family business succession, as researchers attempt to better understand the problems of passage that can exist in family firms. Thus, an important research question is: why are some family businesses able to successfully manage succession while others are not? Further research is needed to answer this question.

Originality/value

This research is original in that it is the first study to test differences in family business succession planning in multiple countries; thus taking the succession planning literature in a new direction.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2009

Matthew C. Sonfield and Robert N. Lussier

While family firms constitute a highly important component of most countries' economies, and in many countries a sizable portion of these family businesses are owned and…

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1297

Abstract

Purpose

While family firms constitute a highly important component of most countries' economies, and in many countries a sizable portion of these family businesses are owned and managed by women, there has been minimal study of gender issues in family business ownership and management. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design was self‐reported survey research, which is the most commonly used methodology in family business research and for small business and entrepreneurship quantitative research.

Findings

In contrast to early (pre‐1980) gender comparisons in management and entrepreneurship, and in support of the majority of more recent studies, this investigation found no significant relationships between the gender of family business owner‐managers and ten management characteristic variables in a sample of 593 family businesses in six countries.

Originality/value

These findings add to the limited and currently inconclusive body of knowledge regarding gender issues specifically in family business, and more generally in entrepreneurship and management.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Matthew C Sonfield, Robert N Lussier and Josiane Fahed-Sreih

The purpose of this research was to compare the use of non-family-members in the higher-level management team of Arab/Islamic family businesses versus American family…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research was to compare the use of non-family-members in the higher-level management team of Arab/Islamic family businesses versus American family businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

This research gathered survey data and tested the hypothesis using analysis of covariance.

Findings

American family businesses engaged the services of non-family-member managers to a statistically significant greater degree than did Arab/Islamic family businesses.

Originality/value

The research literature on Arab/Islamic entrepreneurship is very limited, and a family business study of this nature has not been previously conducted. This study furthermore challenges the common assumption that the findings generated in one specific country can usually be generalized to the broader phenomenon of family business, as it exists in most countries.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2010

Robert N. Lussier and Matthew C. Sonfield

The purpose of this paper is to compare first‐, second‐, and third‐generation family business managerial characteristics and practices in a combined sample from six…

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2429

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare first‐, second‐, and third‐generation family business managerial characteristics and practices in a combined sample from six countries (Croatia, Egypt, France, India, Kuwait, and the USA) with significant differences in cultures, economies, levels of entrepreneurial activity, and family business demographics.

Design/methodology/approach

The design was survey research with a sample of 593 businesses from six countries. To compare differences between the three generations, analysis of covariance was run for the 11 dependent variables, followed by post hoc Tukey honestly significant difference multiple comparisons tests to determine which of the three generations were significantly different.

Findings

As family businesses move from first to second to third generation, some managerial characteristics and practices remain the same while others change. Furthermore, only minor generational differences between the various countries were found, thus supporting commonality of family businesses in spite of the differing cultural, economic, and demographic variations.

Research limitations/implications

The results lead to an improvement in our understanding of entrepreneurial behavior and managerial characteristics and practices between generations of family business in six very diverse economic and cultural settings.

Originality/value

Prior family business research has rarely focused specifically on comparisons of first‐, second‐, and third‐generation firms. No prior research combined family firm data from different countries. The analyses are more complex and mixed than the methodologies used in most of the limited previous research, raising questions and indicating a need for further research.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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