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Crossroads of family business research and firm demography—A critical assessment of family business survival rates

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  • Stamm, Isabell
  • Lubinski, Christina
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    Abstract

    Do family firms rise and decline in three generations? Not only since Thomas Mann's “The Buddenbrooks” has the survival rate of family firms intrigued family business scholars, practitioners and consultants. In this article, we trace the family firm survival rate to its roots and discuss its empirical basis and univocal reading. We then ask how the mortality of family businesses could be measured, and which contextual factors need to be taken into account. To this end we explore the literature on firm demography, a field which is particularly concerned with age and mortality, and identify crossroads with family business studies. We conclude by suggesting a re-conceptualization of survival rates within a larger firm demographic research framework.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Family Business Strategy.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 117-127

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:2:y:2011:i:3:p:117-127

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    Related research

    Keywords: Family business; Succession; Survival rate; Mortality; Demographic change; Firm demography;

    References

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    10. Winter, Mary & Danes, Sharon M. & Koh, Sun-Kang & Fredericks, Kelly & Paul, Jennifer J., 2004. "Tracking family businesses and their owners over time: panel attrition, manager departure and business demise," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 535-559, July.
    11. Pieper, Torsten M., 2010. "Non solus: Toward a psychology of family business," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 26-39, March.
    12. Morten Bennedsen & Kasper Meisner Nielsen & Francisco Pérez-González & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2007. "Inside the Family Firm: the Role of Families in Succession Decisions and Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 647-691, 05.
    13. Carroll, Glenn R, 1997. "Long-Term Evolutionary Change in organizational Populations: Theory, Models and Empirical Findings in Industrial Demography," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 119-43.
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    Cited by:
    1. Wilson, Shawn R. & Whitmoyer, Jeffrey G. & Pieper, Torsten M. & Astrachan, Joseph H. & Hair, Joseph F. & Sarstedt, Marko, 2014. "Method trends and method needs: Examining methods needed for accelerating the field," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 4-14.
    2. Paulette Robic & Dominique Barbelivien & Nicolas Antheaume, 2013. "La fabrique de l'entrepreneur familial. Une institutionnalisation du processus de transmission comme facteur de pérennité des entreprises familiales," Working Papers hal-00829947, HAL.

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