Follow the Capital: Benefits of Tracking Family Capital Across Family and Business Systems

  • Sharon M. Danes
  • Katherine E. Brewton
Part of the International Studies in Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 15)


The Sustainable Family Business Theory (SFBT) is a comprehensive and flexible theory developed to enhance understanding of the dynamic role of the family in family business entrepreneurship as well as demonstrate integration of the family, business, and community. SFBT draws upon general systems theory and gives equal recognition to family and firm. The theory focuses on firm sustainability rather than revenue, which is the focus of most other theories used to study family firms. SFBT posits that sustainability is a function of both firm success and family functioning and is concerned with how family members exchange resources across systems. SFBT was introduced in 1999 by Stafford, Duncan, Danes, and Winter. In 2008, changes were presented to clarify tenets, introduce advancements, and explain its applicability to ethnic family businesses (Danes et al. 2008a). It was empirically tested both in 2003 (Olson et al. 2003) with cross-sectional data and in 2009 with longitudinal data (Danes et al. 2009b).


Social Capital Capital Stock Family Firm Family Business Business System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Social ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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