Family small businesses: Definition, 'essence' and 'true' prevalence

Calvin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
876 Downloads (Pure)


The rapid growth of the family business field is based on the purported prevalence and economic contributions of the family firm. However, such estimations are highly dependent on the question of what in fact constitutes a 'family business'. Unfortunately, a universally accepted definition remains an elusive outcome for the field. It has been suggested that any definition used should capture the 'essence' of the family business by focusing on the vision, intentions and behaviour of people who own, govern and/or manage the business. Since the majority of family businesses are small businesses, this paper applies the 'essence' criterion to empirically explore the 'true' prevalence of the family firm in a sample of small businesses. Findings and their implications for defining the family business are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-290
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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