Academic journal article Journal of Small Business Management

Editor's Note

Academic journal article Journal of Small Business Management

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

The six articles in this issue cover a broad spectrum of topics pertaining to family business. Sandra King and George Solomon served as guest editors for this special issue. The two guest editors were invited to present their views on a particular aspect of family business. The invited article (co-authored with Lloyd Fernald) discusses the problems of human resources management in family businesses. Focusing on a specific family business, their study illustrates how Jacques' conceptual framework can be used by family businesses to increase the effectiveness of their organization.

The five refereed articles in this special issue focus on several pertinent aspects of family firms, including family member influence on conflict within family firms, founding family control and its effects on business performance, family business strategies and their effect on firm performance, the importance of strategic planning in growth-oriented family firms, and differences in management strategies across family firms in small communities.

Davis and Harveston focus on the influence exerted by family members on the magnitude and frequency of substantive conflict within family firms. Their analysis examines possible linkages between conflict and factors such as the extent of social interaction among the family members and the composition of the family's work group. The link between organizational conflict and family influence was found to be moderated by generation. This article enhances our knowledge of conflict in family firms by providing evidence that neither increased social interaction among family members nor an increased number of family members working in the business decreases conflict.

McConaughy, Matthews, and Fialko examine the effects of founding family control on business operations and capital structure. The results of their analysis indicate that firms controlled by the founding family are more efficient and have capital structures with less relative debt than businesses not controlled by the founding family. This article increases our knowledge regarding the effects of ownership form by presenting evidence that family control is the key to efficiency and the effects of capital structure rather than management ownership. …

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