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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

A.B. Ibrahim, K. Soufani and Jose Lam

Family firms play an important role in the working of the Canadian economy; despite their importance to the economic activities and job creation it is observed that family

Abstract

Family firms play an important role in the working of the Canadian economy; despite their importance to the economic activities and job creation it is observed that family businesses have lower survival rates than non‐family firms, some argue that this can possibly be attributed (amongst other factors) to the lack of training. Most of the training activities in Canadian family businesses tend to be limited, and it is argued that family firms tend to perceive training more as an expense than an asset that enhances future growth and development of the business. This paper introduces a training framework and a coherent strategy that provides key elements of a national training agenda for Canadian small family firms, including the role of various relevant organizations.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 45 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2018

Philip M. Beattie

Despite being the dominant form of business globally, it is widely recognised that research focused on the governance of small family-owned entities has been largely…

Abstract

Despite being the dominant form of business globally, it is widely recognised that research focused on the governance of small family-owned entities has been largely overlooked. The benefits of sound governance practices are deemed salutary for small business prosperity; however, these enterprises are confronted with significant governance issues and unique concerns of their own. One particular issue concerns the compliance costs of governance for family-owned businesses and the extent to which the regulatory environment actually encourages an evolvement towards an improvement in governance practices in smaller businesses. Reconciling decision speed, flexibility and entrepreneurial innovation to necessary enhanced governance practices and procedures remains problematic. It is argued that a proper balance between the costs and benefits of proper governance codes and structures for smaller firms can only be achieved with a strong emphasis on flexibility to take account of myriad types of governance requirements of firms. This would entail the development of an evolutionary view of corporate governance implementation, one which mirrors the process of delegation of the entrepreneurial function to company boards and management. This would lend support to the view that there is no universal ‘best way’ for all firms at all stages of the business life cycle. In this respect, the application of the principles of subsidiarity and incentives plays an important role.

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Governance and Regulations’ Contemporary Issues
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-815-6

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Esperanza Huerta, Yanira Petrides and Denise O’Shaughnessy

This research investigates the introduction of accounting practices into small family businesses, based on socioemotional wealth theory.

Abstract

Purpose

This research investigates the introduction of accounting practices into small family businesses, based on socioemotional wealth theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study was conducted gathering data through interviews and documents (proprietary and public). The sample included six businesses (five Mexican and one American) from different manufacturing and service industries.

Findings

It was found that, although owners control the implementation of accounting practices, others (including family employees, non-family employees and external experts) at times propose practices. The owner’s control can be relaxed, or even eliminated, as the result of proposals from some family employees. However, the degree of influence of family employees is not linked to the closeness of the family relationship, but rather to the owners’ perceived competence of the family employee, indicating an interaction between competence and experience on one side, and family ties on the other.

Research limitations/implications

First, the owners chose which documentary data to provide and who was accessible for interviews, potentially biasing findings. Second, the degree of influence family employees can exert might change over time. Third, the study included a limited number of interviews, which can increase the risk of bias. Finally, all firms studied were still managed by the founder. It is possible that small family businesses that have undergone a succession process might incorporate accounting practices differently.

Practical implications

Organizations promoting the implementation of managerial accounting practices should be aware that, in addition to the owner, some family employees and external experts could influence business practices. Accountants already providing accounting services to small family business are also a good source for proposing managerial accounting practices

Originality/value

This study contributes to theory in four ways. First, it expands socioemotional theory to include the perceived competence of the family employee as a potential moderator in the decision-making process. Second, it categorizes the actors who can influence managerial accounting practices in small family businesses. Third, it further refines the role of these actors, based on their degree of influence. Fourth, it proposes a model that describes the introduction of managerial accounting practices in small family business.

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Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Robert N. Lussier and Matthew C. Sonfield

The purpose of this paper is to compare “micro” enterprise (0-9 employees) to “small” enterprise (10-49 employees) family businesses with regard to 12 important managerial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare “micro” enterprise (0-9 employees) to “small” enterprise (10-49 employees) family businesses with regard to 12 important managerial characteristics in eight countries: Argentina, Croatia, Egypt, France, Kosovo, Kuwait, Serbia, and the USA (n=601).

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology was survey research. To statistical test 12 hypotheses, MANCOVA was run to compare differences between micro and small family business, while controlling for years in business.

Findings

Six significant differences were: “small” firms are more likely to employ non-family member managers, are more likely to engage in the formulation of succession plans, are more likely to utilize outside advisory services, make greater use of sophisticated financial management methods, and have a more formal management style than “micro” firms; but the influence of the founder is greater in “micro” firms.

Practical implications

For practitioners and consultants the findings of this study should enable family business owner/managers, and their advisors, to better understand the possible impacts of moving from a “micro” level to a “small” size level, and thus lead to more effective family business management.

Originality/value

This research fills a gap in the literature, as there has been minimal prior research with the specific focus of comparing “micro” vs “small.” Thus, it develops a foundation for further study in this area.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Harry Matlay

Family‐owned small businesses constitute a large proportion of the overall small business population of industrially developed and developing countries. A great deal of…

Abstract

Family‐owned small businesses constitute a large proportion of the overall small business population of industrially developed and developing countries. A great deal of theoretical and practical knowledge exists on various aspects of small business growth and development, including: management, marketing, finance, production, research and development. There exists, however, a paucity of comparative research on the training and HRD strategies of small family and non‐family businesses. This article sets out to redress this imbalance in current small business research. It outlines the preliminary results of a recent study that focused on the training and HRD needs of a randomly selected sample of 6,000 small businesses in Great Britain. The data shows that there are considerable differences in owner/manager attitudes and approaches towards the training needs of family members employed in a business as compared to non‐family employees. The results suggest that these differences could have a significant influence upon the competitive strategies of family and non‐family owned small businesses in the UK.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 44 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2021

Zonghui Li and Douglas Johansen

Drawing on the resource-based view, this study aims to examine how family involvement in migrant-founded small businesses gives rise to distinctive resources that help…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the resource-based view, this study aims to examine how family involvement in migrant-founded small businesses gives rise to distinctive resources that help these businesses survive.

Design/methodology/approach

Using microdata from the 2007 US survey of business owners (SBO), this study uses logit regression modeling to test the hypothesized relationships.

Findings

Results show that small businesses founded by migrant entrepreneurs are less likely to survive and that family involvement weakens the negative relationship between founder migrant status and business survivability. In addition, the positive moderating effect associated with family involvement is further strengthened by the use of external/borrowing startup capital, thus migrant families founded small businesses with access to external capital have the highest probability of survival.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on both migrant entrepreneurship and family business. This paper finds family involvement in the business, interacting with the founder’s migrant status, tends to create distinctive resource endowments that help to compensate for the resource constraints associated with migrant entrepreneurs. Such resource endowments may take the form of high levels of solidarity among migrant family members and the spanning role of the migrant kinship networks extended from the country of origin to the country of residence.

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Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Alice M. Brawley Newlin

Small businesses are dominant in most economies and their owners likely experience high levels of distress. However, we have not fully explored how these common businesses

Abstract

Small businesses are dominant in most economies and their owners likely experience high levels of distress. However, we have not fully explored how these common businesses meaningfully differ with respect to the stress process. Understanding the meaningful variations or subgroups (i.e., heterogeneity) in the small business population will advance occupational health psychology, both in research and practice (e.g., Schonfeld, 2017; Stephan, 2018). To systematize these efforts, the author identifies five commonly appearing “heterogeneity factors” from the literature as modifiers of stressors or the stress process among small business owners. These five heterogeneity factors include: owner centrality, individual differences, gender differences, business/ownership type, and time. After synthesizing the research corresponding to each of these five factors, the author offers specific suggestions for identifying and incorporating relevant heterogeneity factors in future investigations of small business owners’ stress. The author closes by discussing implications for advancing occupational health theories.

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Entrepreneurial and Small Business Stressors, Experienced Stress, and Well-Being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-397-8

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

Michael Browne, Peter Balan and Noel Lindsay

The business model plays a key role in the survival and success of any business. In the family business context, the business model includes more than purely economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The business model plays a key role in the survival and success of any business. In the family business context, the business model includes more than purely economic variables, and it is vital to recognise and identify these for sound business decision-making. This empirical and grounded research clarifies the nature of the business model for small family wineries and, for the first time, specifies four key non-economic or socio-emotional wealth dimensions of the business models for these enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

The nature of business models is identified by analysing qualitative data from in-depth interviews with decision-makers in small family wineries in Australia. This was done using an abductive approach that produces maps identifying the key dimensions of their business models.

Findings

This research supports the construct of socio-emotional wealth by clarifying the non-economic sources of value in these businesses, while not ignoring economic sources of value. In particular, this grounded study identifies “being special”, “tradition”, “relationships” and “control” as key dimensions of socio-emotional value.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides empirical support for the emerging view that non-economic value should be incorporated into the business model construct. In particular, it specifies four key dimensions of socio-emotional wealth in the firm that are incorporated in a proposed empirical model of the business model of family wine businesses that is appropriate for further study. This research was carried out with cases in one industry that were as similar as possible to obtain robust findings and provides the basis for generalisation through replication in other industries and in other categories of family businesses.

Practical implications

This research has significant practical implications associated with the concept of value. The particular dimensions of value as perceived by business owners need to be considered explicitly by business owners and advisors in their strategic and operational decision-making.

Originality/value

Small family wineries represent most enterprises operating in the global wine industry. This research study provides empirical support for the role of socio-emotional wealth, or the non-economic components, in their business models. In particular, this study specifies key dimensions for socio-emotional wealth, and the findings have conceptual as well as practical value.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Andrew Intihar and Jeffrey M. Pollack

The purpose of this paper is to highlight points of differentiation for small family businesses, relative to larger “big box” retailers, which may provide…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight points of differentiation for small family businesses, relative to larger “big box” retailers, which may provide marketing‐oriented competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

From a conceptual perspective, the authors illustrate how small family‐owned businesses may be able to successfully compete against big box retailers by differentiation in three key areas.

Findings

The authors conclude that small family businesses may be able to successfully differentiate themselves from the larger big box retailers by: establishing a relationship with customers based on trust; competing on value (not price); and focusing the business on serving a specialized segment of the market.

Practical implications

The paper offers theory‐based advice for practitioners, as well as thoughts on future directions for academic research.

Originality/value

Much of the research that has been done on family‐owned businesses has focused on the characteristics of the family operating the firm, and how they interact with one another while running the business. Less attention has been given to the exploration of points of differentiation for small family retailers, relative to big box retailers, and how these areas may provide marketing‐oriented advantages. Thus, this work offers substantial benefit for practitioners and the authors’ suggestions for future research will benefit academics.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2011

Manuel F. Suárez‐Barraza, Juan Ramis‐Pujol and Fernando Sándoval‐Arzaga

In recent years, small family businesses in Mexico have come under enormous pressure from their external environment: this has resulted in serious problems affecting the…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, small family businesses in Mexico have come under enormous pressure from their external environment: this has resulted in serious problems affecting the running of their businesses, leading ultimately to a drop off in sales, customers and market share. Some have attempted to respond to this environment by using the Japanese approach of kaizen (meaning continuous improvement). The purpose of this paper is to ask if the kaizen approach is implemented in a specific environment such as that of small family businesses in Mexico.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, qualitative research was conducted using case studies as the research strategy. Two small, family‐run Mexican businesses were selected and studied (a restaurant and hotel) and a retrospective focus was adopted; four methods were used to gather data: direct observation; participative observation; documentary analysis; and semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

The findings of the three case studies show that the kaizen approach can be applied to small family businesses in Mexico, but that the degree of implementation depends on the evolutionary stage of each family business. Consequently, for this first exploratory study, it was found that, in the start‐up stage, only the First Guiding Principle of kaizen was observed, along with some indications for the Fourth Guiding Principle. Whereas for the expansion stage, the consolidated presence of the Second, Fourth and Fifth Guiding Principle of kaizen was observed. Finally, it was possible to identify certain techniques and tools at every stage in addition to the Guiding Principle. In closing, the exploratory study made it possible to investigate the major enablers and inhibitors that a family business goes through.

Research limitations/implications

Research was based in two case studies. However, rather than seeking empirical generalisation, the research tried to examine and explore how the kaizen approach is applied in a specific environment such as that of a sports organisation dedicated to football in Mexico.

Practical implications

The paper aspires to be of interest as much to researchers as to professionals in the family business context, whether they have top management responsibilities or are middle managers, and also to all those employees whose work is related to this sector, with the aim of understanding the management of small family businesses in Mexico from the kaizen perspective.

Originality/value

A review of academic and practitioner literature on the subject indicated that implementation of the kaizen approach in family businesses had scarcely begun to be explored. It is also significant that in Mexico and Latin America, examples of the implementation of this kind of approach are practically non‐existent in academic literature on family businesses.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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