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Family Business Research: The Evolution of an Academic Field

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The establishment of a field of study or a discipline with academic or professional standing requires, among other things, a body of knowledge that expands understanding of that domain. This paper looks at the literature on establishing a unique field of study, reviews the foundational research in family business (1980s) and four recent years (1997–2001) of published family business research found in several outlets. We find that family business research is becoming increasingly sophisticated and rigorous. This bodes well for the development of an independent field for family business. Recommendations are offered to further the professionalization of family business as an academic and professional domain.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate professor and chair of the Management Department at American University, Washington, D.C. 2: Professor of management and Coleman Chair in Entrepreneurship at DePaul University, Chicago, IL. 3: Wachovia Eminent Scholar Chair of Family Business and Director, Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University. 4: Michael J. Coles College of Business, Kennesaw, GA. David Pistrui is on the faculty of Illinois Institute of Technology, Stuart Graduate School of Business, Chicago, IL.

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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