Research Note: Comparison of Small Businesses with Family Participation versus Small Businesses Without Family Participation: An Investigation of Differences in Goals, Attitudes, and Family/Business Conflict
This study investigates three important issues in a family business: (1) Whether there is a significant difference, relative to their goals and attitudes, between owners of businesses with family participation and owners of businesses without family participation; (2) whether owners of businesses with family participation perceive higher levels of business-family conflict than owners of businesses without family participation; and (3) whether owners of businesses with family participation view business-family conflict as a significant impediment to their business performance. We conducted a survey of 231 small business owners in midsize cities in the northeastern and midwestern United States. Of the total sample, 118 are businesses in which two or more family members are employed. This study examines both the reported conflict and the positives of family-member involvement. The findings indicate that there is no overall difference in business-related goals between the two groups, but that owners of businesses with family participation do experience significantly more business-family conflict. The study also concludes that this conflict is generally well managed and does not interfere with business objectives. In fact, the authors conclude that owners of businesses with family participation see the involvement of family members as a positive. Managerial implications and research suggestions are also discussed.
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