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Mapping the field of family business research: past trends and future directions

Abstract

Receiving increasing attention over the past decade by scholars worldwide, family business research has developed in diverse directions. Due to the numerous challenges family businesses face in their development and continuation, research has generated a wide ranging spectrum of the subjects explored within it and a large body of knowledge as a result. Based on the results of the by far largest bibliometric analyses in the field, this paper elaborates and clarifies the fragmented state of family business research. By analyzing virtually all existing family business-related writings, the most influential publications are highlighted, and changes in citation patterns before and after the year 2000 are discussed. Here, five topical clusters are identified which reflect the tracks family business research follows. With these clusters as a basis, the paper concludes by identifying avenues for future research.

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Correspondence to Sascha Kraus.

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Funding for this project was provided by: “A Multilevel Dynamic Study on Successor Identity Construction among Family business’ Next Generation and Its Effects on Their Intention and Behavior Regarding Succession”, National Natural Science Grant by National Natural Science Foundation of China, granted in 2013 (Project No. 71302137).

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Xi, J.(., Kraus, S., Filser, M. et al. Mapping the field of family business research: past trends and future directions. Int Entrep Manag J 11, 113–132 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-013-0286-z

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Keywords

  • Family business research
  • Bibliometrics
  • Citation analysis
  • Content analysis