Why Can't a Family Business Be More Like a Nonfamily Business? Modes of Professionalization in Family Firms

Family Business Review, September 2011

31 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012

See all articles by Alex Stewart

Alex Stewart

Marquette University - Department of Management

Michael A. Hitt

Texas A&M University - Department of Management; Texas Christian University

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The authors survey arguments that family firms should behave more like nonfamily firms and “professionalize.” Despite the apparent advantages of this transition, many family firms fail to do so or do so only partially. The authors reflect on why this might be so, and the range of possible modes of professionalization. They derive six ideal types: (a) minimally professional family firms; (b) wealth dispensing, private family firms; (c) entrepreneurially operated family firms; (d) entrepreneurial family business groups; (e) pseudo-professional, public family firms; and (f) hybrid professional family firms. The authors conclude with suggestions for further research that is attentive to such variation.

Keywords: professionalization, family firms, performance, entrepreneurship, hybrid organizations

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Alex and Hitt, Michael A., Why Can't a Family Business Be More Like a Nonfamily Business? Modes of Professionalization in Family Firms (2011). Family Business Review, September 2011 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1994460

Alex Stewart (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Department of Management ( email )

1250 W. Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
United States

Michael A. Hitt

Texas A&M University - Department of Management ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States
979-458-3393 (Phone)

Texas Christian University ( email )

Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States

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