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JBR Family Firm SI 2016 : Journal of Business Research - Special Issue on Family Firm Heterogeneity


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Submission Deadline Aug 1, 2016
Categories    family firm   family business

Call For Papers


Journal of Business Research
Special Issue: “Family Firm Heterogeneity”



James J. Chrisman, Mississippi State University (
Joshua J. Daspit, Mississippi State University (
Raj V. Mahto, The University of New Mexico (
Allison W. Pearson, Mississippi State University (
Pramodita Sharma, The University of Vermont (

Journal of Business Research (JBR) is seeking manuscripts for an upcoming special issue on family firm heterogeneity in collaboration with the 2016 Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC). This special issue is a follow-up to the 2007 JBR special issue on family influences on firms where the objective was to focus on comparisons among various types of family firms (see Chrisman, Sharma, & Taggar, 2007) given that much research up to that time primarily focused on family and nonfamily firm comparisons (Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 2005). Since the 2007 issue, notable insights about family firms have emerged that highlight new challenges.

Although family firms differ in noticeable ways from nonfamily firms, recent studies suggest that the variance in behaviors among family firms might be even greater than the variance in behaviors between family firms and nonfamily firms (Chrisman & Patel, 2012). One potential reason for this variation is the greater pursuit of noneconomic goals to create or preserve socioemotional wealth, which is itself highly diverse (Berrone, Cruz, & Gomez-Mejia, 2012). Nevertheless, differences in systems of governance (Carney, 2005)—as well as critical resources (Habbershon & Williams, 1999) such as financial, human, psychological, and particularly, social capital (Pearson, Carr, & Shaw, 2008)—are likely suspects in the determination of family firm heterogeneity. Indeed, Chrisman, Sharma, Steier, and Chua (2013) suggest goals, governance, and resources may parsimoniously capture the key factors that distinguish family firms from nonfamily firms and differentiate family firms from one another.

Overlaid upon the distinctive attributes and behaviors inherent in family firms are variations caused by geographic, cultural, and religious influences (e.g., Kim & Gao, 2013). In addition, the variations potentially become even greater when one considers that we are only beginning to come to grips with the influence of family heterogeneity on the plethora of relevant individual, family, and firm outcomes, such as self-fulfillment, family harmony, commitment, return on investment, market value, growth, social responsiveness, and the accumulation of socioemotional wealth (Berrone et al., 2012; Chrisman et al., 2005; McGuire, Dow, & Ibrahim, 2012; Pearson, Bergiel, & Barnett, 2014; Sharma & Irving, 2005).

A special issue of family firm heterogeneity studies promises to make a substantial contribution to knowledge about family businesses. Given that nearly 10 years have passed since the previous special issue on family firms, and due to notable advances in family business research, the objective of this issue is to publish theoretical and empirical work that highlights such progress and furthers understanding of family firm heterogeneity. A non-exhaustive list of possible interdisciplinary topic areas includes:

• How does the heterogeneity of family ownership configurations and/or management teams in the family firm affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?
• How do variations in the composition of boards of directors or in noneconomic and economic goals affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?
• How do variations in formal (monitoring, incentive compensation) and informal (altruism, ostracism) governance mechanisms in the family firm affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?
• How do variations in human, financial, social, and psychological capital affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?
• What are the common and uncommon configurations of functional (e.g., marketing, accounting, finance, etc.), business, and corporate strategies used in the family firm, how are these influenced by variations in goals, governance, and resources, and how do they affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?
• Do differences in environments (industry, national, legal, economic, technological) affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?
• What are the most prevalent configurations of business families, how do they differ from configurations of family businesses, how do they evolve, and how do they affect family and firm-related behaviors and outcomes?

Submission guidelines: All submissions are subject to the standard double-blind review process. Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not concurrently under review for publication at another outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for JBR. (Guidelines may be found at Submissions should be made via the journal’s submission website ( by August 1, 2016, and authors should select “SI: Family Firm Heterogeneity” as the “Article Type” when making the submission. If the manuscript is not marked as part of the special issue when submitted, the manuscript will be reviewed as a standard submission for the journal. (Please note the submission process has been revised and submissions should not be made directly to the guest editors.) Questions regarding the special issue may be addressed to any of the guest editors.


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: 258-279.

Carney, M. (2005). Corporate governance and competitive advantage in family-controlled firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29: 249–265.

Chrisman, J.J., Chua, J.H., & Sharma, P. (2005). Trends and directions in the development of a strategic management theory of the firm. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29: 555-576.

Chrisman, J.J., & Patel, P. (2012). Variations in R&D investment in family and non-family firms: Behavioral agency and myopic loss aversion perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 55: 976-997.

Chrisman, J.J., Sharma, P., Steier, L.P., & Chua, J.H. (2013). The influence of family goals, governance, and resources on firm outcomes. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37: 1249-1261.

Chrisman, J.J., Sharma, P., & Taggar, S. (2007). Family influences on firms: An introduction. Journal of Business Research, 60: 1005-1011.

Habbershon, T.G., & Williams, M.L. (1999). A resource-based framework for assessing the strategic advantages of family firms, Family Business Review, 12: 1-25.

Kim, Y., & Gao, F.Y. (2013). Does family involvement increase business performance? Family-longevity goals’ moderating role in Chinese family firms. Journal of Business Research, 66(2): 265-274.

McGuire, J., Dow, S., & Ibrahim, B. (2012). All in the family? Social performance and corporate governance in the family firm. Journal of Business Research, 65(11): 1643-1650.

Pearson, A.W., Bergiel, E., & Barnett, T. (2014). Expanding the study of organizational behaviour in family business: Adapting team theory to explore family firms. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(5): 657-664.

Pearson, A.W., Carr, J.C., & Shaw, J.C. (2008). Toward a theory of familiness: A social capital perspective. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32: 949–969.

Sharma, P. & Irving, P.G. (2005). Four bases of family business successor commitment: Antecedents and consequences, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29: 13-33.

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