Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 641–656 | Cite as

Asian family enterprises and family business research



This article discusses some of the notable trends in family business research. The critical role of context in building usable knowledge on family enterprises is highlighted. The Asia Pacific region offers a plethora of unique opportunities to build such knowledge as illustrated by some articles in this Special Issue. Families and their enterprises are integral to all Asia Pacific countries. However, the heterogeneity of institutional development and conditions in which these enterprises must operate offer unique research opportunities for scholars to build deeper understanding of family enterprises and contribute to the global knowledge in this important field of study.


Family business Asia Pacific Heterogeneity Strategic management Context 


  1. Amit, R., & Villalonga, B. 2013. Financial performance of family firms. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Arregle, L., Hitt, M., Sirmon, D., & Very, P. 2007. The development of organizational social capital: Attributes of family firms. Journal of Management Studies, 44: 73–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asaba, S. 2013. Patient investment of family firms in the Japanese electric machinery industry. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9319-3.Google Scholar
  4. Au, K., Chiang, F. T., Birtch, T. A., & Ding, Z. 2013. Incubating the next generation to venture: The case of a family business in Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9331-7.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, G. S. 1991. A treatise on the family. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bergfeld, M. M. H., & Weber, F. M. 2011. Dynasties of innovation: Highly performing German family firms and the owners’ role for innovation. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 13(1): 80–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berrone, P., Cruz, C., & Gomez-Mejia, L. R. 2012. Socioemotional wealth in family firms: Theoretical dimensions, assessment approaches, and agenda for future research. Family Business Review, 25(3): 258–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Björnberg, Å., & Nicholson, N. 2007. The family climate scales—Development of a new measure for use in family business research. Family Business Review, 20(3): 229–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bunkanwanicha, P., Fan, J. P. H., & Wiwattanakantang, Y. 2008. Why do shareholders value marriage?. ECGI working paper in Finance no. 227/2008, European Corporate Governance Institute, Social Science Research Network.Google Scholar
  10. Cappelli, P., & Sherer, P. D. 1991. The missing role of context in OB: The need for a meso-level approach. Research in Organization Behavior, 13: 55–110.Google Scholar
  11. Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Sharma, P. 2005. Trends and directions in the development of a strategic management theory of the family firm. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 29(5): 555–576.Google Scholar
  12. Chua, J. H., Chrisman, J. J., & Chang, E. P. C. 2004. Are family firms born or made? An exploratory investigation. Family Business Review, 17(1): 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chua, J. H., Chrisman, J. J., & Sharma, P. 1999. Defining the family business by behavior. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 23(4): 19–39.Google Scholar
  14. Churchill, N., & Hatten, K. 1987. Non-market based transfers of wealth and power: A research framework for family businesses. American Journal of Small Business, 11(3): 51–64.Google Scholar
  15. Colli, A. 2012. Contextualizing performances of family firms: The perspective of business history. Family Business Review, 25(3): 243–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Craig, J. J. B., & Salvato, C. 2012. The distinctiveness, design, and direction of family business research: Insights from management luminaries. Family Business Review, 25(1): 109–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. De Massis, A., Sharma, P., Chua, J., & Chrisman, J. 2012. Family business studies: An annotated bibliography. Northampton, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  18. De Massis, A., Frattini, F., & Lichtenthaler, U. 2013. Research on technological innovation in family firms: Present debates and future directions. Family Business Review, 26(1): 10–31.Google Scholar
  19. Deng, Z., Hofman, P. S., & Newman, A. 2013. Ownership concentration and product innovation in Chinese private SMEs. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9301-0.Google Scholar
  20. Dharwadkar, R., George, G., & Brandes, P. 2000. Privatization in emerging economies: An agency theory perspective. Academy of Management Review, 25(3): 650–669.Google Scholar
  21. Fairlie, R. W., & Robb, A. 2007. Families, human capital, and small business: Evidence from the characteristics of business owners survey. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 60(2): 225–245.Google Scholar
  22. Gersick, K., Davis, J., Hampton, M., & Landsberg, I. 1997. Generation to generation: Life cycles of the family business. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gersick, K. E., & Neus, F. 2013. Governing the family enterprise: Practices, performance, and research. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  24. Globerman, S., Peng, M. W., & Shapiro, D. M. 2011. Corporate governance and Asian companies. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 28(1): 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Goel, S., Jussila, I., & Ikäheimonen, T. 2013. Governance in family firms: A review and research agenda. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Habbershon, T. G., & Williams, M. 1999. A resource-based framework for assessing the strategic advantages of family firms. Family business Review, 12(1): 1–25.Google Scholar
  27. Habbershon, T. G., Williams, M., & MacMillan, I. C. 2003. A unified systems perspective of family firm performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(4): 451–465.Google Scholar
  28. Hatum, A. 2007. Adaptation or expiration in family firms: Organizational flexibility in emerging economies. Northampton, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  29. Hatum, A., & Pettigrew, A. M. 2006. Determinants of organizational flexibility: A study in an emerging economy. British Journal of Management, 17: 115–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Holt, D. T., Rutherford, M. W., & Kuratko, D. F. 2010. Advancing the field of family business research: Further testing the measurement properties of the F-PEC. Family Business Review, 23(1): 76–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hoy, F., & Sharma, P. 2010. Entrepreneurial family firms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  32. James, A. E., Jennings, J. E., & Breitkruz, R. 2012. Worlds apart? Re-bridging the distance between family science and family business research. Family Business Review, 25(1): 87–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. 1976. Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3(4): 305–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jiang, Y., & Peng, M. W. 2011. Are family ownership and control in large firms good, bad, or irrelevant?. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 28(1): 15–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johns, G. 2006. The essential impact of context on organizational behavior. Academy of Management Review, 31(2): 386–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Klein, S. B., Astrachan, J. H., & Smyrnios, K. X. 2005. The F-PEC scale of family influence: Construction, validation, and further implication for theory. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 29: 321–339.Google Scholar
  37. Lambrecht, J., & Lievens, J. 2008. Pruning the family tree: An unexplored path to family business continuity and family harmony. Family Business Review, 21(4): 295–313.Google Scholar
  38. Landes, D. 2006. Dynasties: Fortunes and misfortunes of the world’s great family businesses. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  39. Lansberg, I. 1999. Succeeding generations: Realizing the dream of families in business. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  40. Litz, R. A., Pearson, A., & Litchfield, S. 2012. Charting the future of family business research: Perspectives from the field. Family Business Review, 25(1): 16–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Long, R. G., & Chrisman, J. J. 2013. Management succession in family business. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Lybaert, N., Voordeckers, W., & Huybrechts, J. 2013. Entrepreneurial risk-taking of private family firms: The influence of a non-family CEO and the moderating effect of CEO tenure. Family Business Review.Google Scholar
  43. Markson, E. W. 2007. Social gerontology today: An introduction. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. McKelvie, A., McKenny, A., Lumpkin, G. T., & Short, J. C. 2013. Corporate entrepreneurship in family business: Past contribution and future opportunities. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. McKenny, A. F., Short, J. C., Zachary, M. A., & Payne, G. T. 2012. Assessing espoused goals in private family firms using content analysis. Family Business Review, 25(3): 298–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mehrotra, V., Morck, R., Jungwook, S., & Wiwattanakantang, Y. 2011. Adoptive expectations: Rising sons in Japanese family firms. NBER working paper no. 16874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  47. Melin, L., Nordqvist, M., & Sharma, P. 2013. SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  48. Miller, D., & Le Breton-Miller, I. 2005. Managing for the long run: Lessons in competitive advantage from great family businesses. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  49. Morck, R., Wolfenzon, D., & Yeung, B. 2005. Corporate governance, economic entrenchment, and growth. Journal of Economic Literature, 43(3): 655–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. North, D. C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional change and economic performance. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  51. Pearson, A. W., Carr, J. C., & Shaw, J. C. 2008. Toward a theory of familiness: A social capital perspective. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 32: 949–969.Google Scholar
  52. Pearson, A. W., Holt, D. T., & Carr, J. C. 2013. Scales in family business studies. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  53. Reay, T., & Whetten, D. A. 2011. What constitutes a theoretical contribution in family business?. Family Business Review, 24(2): 105–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rosa, P., Howorth, C., & Cruz, A. D. 2013. Habitual and portfolio entrepreneurship and the family in business. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Rynes, S., Bartunek, J., & Daft, R. L. 2001. Across the great divide: Knowledge creation and transfer between practitioners and academics. Academy of Management Journal, 44: 340–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Salvato, C., Chirico, F., & Sharma, P. 2010. A farewell to the business: Championing exit and continuity in entrepreneurial family firms. Entrepreneurial and Regional Development, 22(3/4): 321–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Salvato, C., Minichilli, A., & Piccarreta, R. 2012. Faster route to the CEO suite: Nepotism or managerial proficiency?. Family Business Review, 5(2): 206–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Santiago, A. 2011. The family in family business: Case of the in-laws in Philippine businesses. Family Business Review, 24(4): 343–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sauerwald, S., & Peng, M. W. 2013. Informal institutions, shareholder coalitions, and principal–principal conflicts. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9312-x.Google Scholar
  60. Saxena, A. 2013. Transgenerational succession in business groups in India. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-013-9342-z.Google Scholar
  61. Sciascia, S., & Mazzola, P. 2008. Family involvement in ownership and management: Exploring nonlinear effects on performance. Family Business Review, 21(4): 331–345.Google Scholar
  62. Sharma, P. 2004. An overview of the field of family business studies: Current status and directions for future. Family Business Review, 17(1): 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sharma, P. 2008. Commentary: Familiness: Capital stocks and flows between family and business. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 32(6): 971–977.Google Scholar
  64. Sharma, P. 2010. Advancing the 3Rs of family business scholarship—Rigor, relevance, reach. In A. Stewart, G. T. Lumpkin & J. Katz (Eds.). Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth, vol. 12: 383–400. Emerald Books.Google Scholar
  65. Sharma, P., & Carney, M. 2012. Value creation and performance in private family firms: Measurement and methodological issues. Family Business Review, 25(3): 233–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sharma, P., Chrisman, J., & Gersick, K. 2012. 25 years of Family Business Review: An outlook on the past and perspectives for the future. Family Business Review, 25(1): 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sharma, P., Hoy, F., Astrachan, J. H., & Koiranen, M. 2007. The practice driven evolution of family business education. Journal of Business Research, 60(10): 1012–1021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sharma, P., & Rao, S. A. 2000. Successor attributes in Indian and Canadian family firms: A comparative study. Family Business Review, 13(4): 313–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sharma, P., & Salvato, C. 2013. Family firm longevity: A balancing act between continuity and change. In P. Fernández Pérez & A. Colli (Eds.). A global revolution: The endurance of large family businesses in the world. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Sirmon, D. G., & Hitt, M. A. 2003. Managing resources: Linking unique resources, management, and wealth creation in family firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(4): 339–358.Google Scholar
  71. Song, H., & Wang, L. 2013. The impact of private and family firms’ relational strength on financing performance in clusters. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9316-6.Google Scholar
  72. Steier, L. B. 2007. New venture creation and organization: A familial sub-narrative. Journal of Business Research, 60(10): 1099–1107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stewart, A., & Hitt, M. 2012. Why can’t a family business be more like a non-family business: Modes of professionalization in family firms. Family Business Review, 25(1): 58–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Strike, V. 2012. Advising the family firm: Reviewing the past to build the future. Family Business Review, 25(2): 156–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Su, E., & Carney, M. 2013. Can China’s family firms create intellectual capital?. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9302-z.Google Scholar
  76. Su, W., & Lee, C.-Y. 2013. Effects of corporate governance on risk taking in Taiwanese family firms during institutional reform. Asia Pacific Journal of Management. doi:10.1007/s10490-012-9292-x.Google Scholar
  77. Vermeulen, F. 2007. “I shall not remain insignificant”: Adding a second loop to matter more. Academy of Management Journal, 50(4): 754–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Villalonga, B., & Amit, R. 2006. How do family ownership, control and management affect firm value? Journal of Financial Economics, 80(2): 385–417.Google Scholar
  79. Yamgishi, T. 1988. The provision of a sanctioning system in the United States and Japan. Social Psychology Quarterly, 51(3): 265–271.Google Scholar
  80. Young, M. N., Peng, M. W., Ahsltrom, D., Bruton, G. D., & Jiang, Y. 2008. Corporate governance in emerging economies: A review of the principal-principal perspective. Journal of Management Studies, 45: 196–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Yu, A., Lumpkin, G. T., Sorenson, R. L., & Brigham, K. H. 2012. The landscape of family business outcomes: A summary and numerical taxonomy of dependent variables. Family Business Review, 25(1): 33–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Ward, J. L. 1987. Keeping the family business healthy: How to plan for continuing growth, profitability, and family leadership. San Francisco: Jossy-Bass.Google Scholar
  83. Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Hoskisson, R. E., & Peng, M. W. 2005. Strategy research in emerging economies: Challenging the conventional wisdom. Journal of Management Studies, 42(1): 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zahra, S. A., Labaki, R., Gawad, S. G. A., & Sciascia, S. 2013. Family firms and social innovation: Cultivating organizational embeddedness. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist & P. Sharma (Eds.). SAGE handbook of family business. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  85. Zellweger, T. M., Nason, R. S., & Nordqvist, M. 2012. From longevity of firms to transgenerational entrepreneurship of families: Introducing family entrepreneurial orientation. Family Business Review, 25(2): 136–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices, Babson CollegeWellesleyUSA
  3. 3.Haskayne School of BusinessUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.School of ManagementZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations