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Revisiting the Study of Family Businesses: Methodological Challenges, Dilemmas, and Alternative Approaches

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Family businesses are vital but understudied economic and social units. Previous family business research is limited relative to its definitions, sampling, and resulting empirical evidence. This paper presents an alternative methodological approach to the study of family businesses with the potential for allowing multiperspective and detailed analyses of the nature and internal dynamics of both the family and the business and the interaction between the two.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and associate dean of research and graduate education in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Iowa State University, at Ames. 2: Assistant professor in the Department of Child Development and Family Sciences in the College of Human Development and Education at North Dakota State University, at Fargo. 3: Professor and the J. Thomas Clark Fellow of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 4: Assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Development in the College of Education, Health, and Human Development at Montana State University, at Bozeman. 5: Professor in the Family Social Science Department in the College of Human Ecology at the University of Minnesota, at St. Paul.

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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