The empirical evidence of family business phenomenon in terms of employment outcomes is contradictory highlighting the micro–macro gap in the existing research. To address this contradiction, our study disentangles the role of context in family firms’ employment outcomes. To do so, we conduct a systematic literature review of 67 articles focusing on three employment-related outcomes—namely, growth, downsizing, and quality of labour—published in peer-reviewed journals from 1980 to 2020. Based on a two-by-two framework to classify this extant research, we unpack what we know about family firms and employment outcomes and where we can go from here. We highlight three main findings. First, current research is context-less since has mainly focused on the firm level in one context (i.e., region or country) and there is a lack of studies comparing family firms’ employment outcomes in different contexts and explicitly measuring the effects of contextual dimensions on family firms’ employment outcomes. This context-less approach could explain the conflicting results and lack of theoretical predictability about the family effect on employment across contexts. Second, the lack of understanding of the context in which family firms dwell highlights the need for future research to focus on context by theorizing about employment outcomes—that is, measuring context and its interactions with family- and job-related variables. Third, there is a need to further explore, analyse, and theorize on the aggregate effect of family firms on employment outcomes at different level of analysis (e.g., local, regional, and national).

Contextualizing employment outcomes in family business research: current findings and future research avenues

Amato Stefano
;
2021

Abstract

The empirical evidence of family business phenomenon in terms of employment outcomes is contradictory highlighting the micro–macro gap in the existing research. To address this contradiction, our study disentangles the role of context in family firms’ employment outcomes. To do so, we conduct a systematic literature review of 67 articles focusing on three employment-related outcomes—namely, growth, downsizing, and quality of labour—published in peer-reviewed journals from 1980 to 2020. Based on a two-by-two framework to classify this extant research, we unpack what we know about family firms and employment outcomes and where we can go from here. We highlight three main findings. First, current research is context-less since has mainly focused on the firm level in one context (i.e., region or country) and there is a lack of studies comparing family firms’ employment outcomes in different contexts and explicitly measuring the effects of contextual dimensions on family firms’ employment outcomes. This context-less approach could explain the conflicting results and lack of theoretical predictability about the family effect on employment across contexts. Second, the lack of understanding of the context in which family firms dwell highlights the need for future research to focus on context by theorizing about employment outcomes—that is, measuring context and its interactions with family- and job-related variables. Third, there is a need to further explore, analyse, and theorize on the aggregate effect of family firms on employment outcomes at different level of analysis (e.g., local, regional, and national).
Family business, Contextualizing family firms, Firm employment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/18966
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