Networks in family business: a multi-rational approach

  • Claire SeamanEmail author
  • Ronald McQuaid
  • Mike Pearson


Current research on networks in family businesses has approached the topic from a mono-rational perspective where the family, business and social networks are each considered in relative isolation. This paper argues that multi-rational approaches, which accept that the three groups of networks interact and overlap, offer a useful alternative perspective. In proposing the case for multiple rationalities as a framework within which family business networking can be viewed – and in putting forward an initial model – the paper allows the interaction of the different networks within the family business to be more fully acknowledged. Evidence from the literature is presented as a basis for further exploration using empirical approaches and it is emphasised that further and empirical approaches are required.


Family businesses Business families Networking Multi-rational 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen Margaret UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Stirling Management SchoolUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK
  3. 3.Employment Research InstituteEdinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburghUK

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