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Bivalent Attributes of the Family Firm

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Although family-owned and managed firms are the predominant form of business organization in the world today, little systematic research exists on these companies. This paper builds upon insights found in the emerging literature on these enterprises and upon our own observations to provide a conceptual frame-work to better understand these complex organizations. We introduce the concept of the Bivalent Attributes–a unique, inherent feature of an organization that is the source of both advantages and disadvantages–to explain the dynamics of the family firm.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University. 2: President of the Owner Managed Business Institute, Santa Barbara, CA.

Publication date: June 1, 1996

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