Creating space for the business family
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Seaman, C. (2015) Creating space for the business family. Journal of Family Business Management, 5 (2), pp. 182-191.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to consider one of the major, under-researched themes in rural studies - the business family. Acting as an economic bedrock and entrepreneurial business base, families may support one or more businesses over varying time frames (Rouvinez, 2001). Design/methodology/approach - By reviewing related literature, the paper aims to encapsulate some thoughts on this topic and to consider ways in which future work in this field might be directed. Findings - Standing at the divide between entrepreneurship research, business research and research which looks at the family in a social paradigm, business families remain one of the under-researched areas which provide a vital function within rural communities (Getz et al., 2004, p. 3). One distinction drawn out within this paper is of the manner whereby a family business - defined here as a business with one or more family members where the owners perceive it to be a family business - stands in parallel to the business family. Difficulties in definition of the term family business (Sharma, 1996) have further complicated this distinction, but the importance of family businesses in a worldwide context is acknowledged (Poutziouris, 2006) alongside the need for further research in a UK context (Fletcher, 2002; Getz et al., 2004, p. 72). If the term family business is difficult to define, simpler definitions of the business family do appear: families with a distinct track record in portfolio or serial entrepreneurship but where the expertise is embedded within more than one individual.