Advertisement

Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 185–206 | Cite as

Boundaries and the Functioning of Family and Business Systems

  • Zanita ZodyEmail author
  • Douglas Sprenkle
  • Shelley MacDermid
  • Holly Schrank
Article

ABSTRACT

The purposes of the present study were to: (1) examine connections between performance success and the boundaries between families and the businesses they own and (2) explore whether boundary-performance links were mediated by satisfaction. Tests of the mediation hypothesis revealed that family satisfaction partially mediated connections between boundaries and family functioning. Business satisfaction fully mediated connections between boundary characteristics and business strengths, but did not mediate the relationship between boundary characteristics and cash flow problems. Although previous literature suggests that permeable boundaries (i.e. enmeshment) are especially problematic for family firms, this appears to be only partially true.

Keywords

boundaries disengagement enmeshment family business spillover 

References

  1. Aldrich H. E., Cliff J. E., (2003). The pervasive effects of family on entrepreneurship: Toward a family embeddedness perspective Journal of Business Venturing 18:573–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron R. M., Kenny D. A., (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51:1173–1182CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bond J. T., Galinsky E., Swanberg J. E., (1998). The 1997 national study of the changing workforce. Families & Work Institute, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Bork D., Jaffe D. T., Lane S. H., Dashew L., Heisler Q. G., (1996). Working with family businesses. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowen M., (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. Jason Aronson, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Colapinto J., (1991). Structural family therapy. In: Gurman A. S., Knoskern D. P., (Eds.) Handbook of family therapy. Bruner/Mazel Publishers, New York, 417–443Google Scholar
  7. Davis P., Stern D., (1996). Adaptation, survival, and growth of the family business: An integrated systems perspective. In: Aronoff C. E., Astrachan J. H., Ward J. L., (Eds.) Family business sourcebook II. Business Owner Resources, Marietta, Georgia, 278–309Google Scholar
  8. Fischer J., Corcoran K., (1994). Measures for clinical practice: A sourcebook. Volume 1: Couples, families and children (2nd ed.). The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Fisher L., (1982). Transactional theories but individual assessment: A frequent discrepancy in family research Family Process 21:313–320CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Haynes G., Walker R., Rowe B., Hong G., (1999). The intermingling of business and family finances in family-owned businesses Family Business Review IXX:225–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Huang Y., Hammer L., Neal M., Perrin N., (2004). The relationship between work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict: A longitudinal study Journal of Family and Economic Issues 25:79–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hundley G., (2001). Domestic division of labor and self/organizationally employed differences in job attitudes and earning Journal of Family and Economic Issues 22:121–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kahn R., Wolfe D., Quinn R., Snoek J., Rosenthal R., (1964). Organizational stress: studies in role conflict and ambiguity. John Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Kaslow F. W., Kaslow S., (1992). The family that works together: Special problems of family businesses. In: Zedeck S., (Eds.) Work, families, and organizations. Josey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 312–361Google Scholar
  15. Kepner E. (1983). The family and the firm: A coevolutionary perspective. Organizational Dynamics Summer 57–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kerr M. E., Bowen M., (1988). Family evaluation: An approach based on Bowen theory. W.W. Norton & Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Marshack K., (1998). Entrepreneurial couples: Making it work at work and at home. Davies-Black Publishing, Palo Alto, CAGoogle Scholar
  18. Mass Mutual Financial Group. (1997). American family business survey, 1997. Author, Springfield, MAGoogle Scholar
  19. Mass Mutual Financial Group. (2003). American family business survey [Online]. Available: http://www.ffi.org/massmutual_survey.pdf, and summarized at http://www.niagara.edu/ciaer/2003/2Google Scholar
  20. Masuo D., Fong G., Yanagida J., Cabal C., (2001). Factors associated with business and family success: A comparison of single manager and dual manager family business households Journal of Family and Economic Issues 22:55–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Minuchin S., (1974). Families and family therapy. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  22. Olson D. H., (1999). Circumplex model of marital and family systems Journal of Family Therapy 22:144–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Olson D. H., McCubbin H. I., Barnes H., Larsen A., Muxsen M., Wilson M., (1989). Families: What makes them work (2nd ed.), Sage Publishing, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  24. Olson D. H., Tiesel J. W., Gorall D. M., Fitterer C., (1996). Family assessment package. University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MNGoogle Scholar
  25. Olson D. H., Wilson M., (1992). Family satisfaction. In: Olson D. H., McCubbin H. I., Barnes H., Larsen A., Muxen M., Wilson M., (Eds.) Family inventories. Life Innovations, St. Paul, MN, 43–50Google Scholar
  26. Roehling P., Roehling M., Moen P., (2001). The relationship between work-life policies and practices and employee loyalty: A life course perspective Journal of Family and Economic Issues 22:141–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rosenblatt P. C., de Mik L., Anderson R. M., Johnson P. A., (1985). The family in business. Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, CAGoogle Scholar
  28. Swogger G., Johnson E., Post J. M., (1988). Issues of retirement from leadership in a family business Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 52:150–157PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Vinton K. L., (1998). Nepotism: An interdisciplinary model Family Business Review XI:297–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Weigel D. J., Ballard-Reisch D. S., (1997). Merging family and firm: An integrated systems approach to process and change Journal of Family and Economic Issues 18:7–31. (Please double check p. 5)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Winter M., Fitzgerald M. A., Heck R. K. Z., Haynes G. W., Danes S. M., (1998). Revisiting the study of family business: Methodological challenges, dilemmas, and alternative approaches Family Business Review XI:239–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wiseman K. K., (1996). Life at work: The view from the bleachers. In: Comella P. A., Bader J., Ball J. S., Wiseman K. K., Sagar R. R., (Eds.) The emotional side of organizations: Applications of Bowen theory. Georgetown Family Center, Washington, DC, 29–38Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zanita Zody
    • 1
    Email author
  • Douglas Sprenkle
    • 1
  • Shelley MacDermid
    • 1
  • Holly Schrank
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child Development and Family StudiesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Consumer Sciences & RetailingPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations