Family businesses exist at the intersection between two separate, but connected systems—the business and the family. The intersection between business and family is not always clearly demarcated, which results in vague boundaries. Further, lack of clear boundaries between the two systems creates difficulties for clearly defining family business enterprises. Therefore, family business definitions can range from broad, inclusive definitions to more narrow and specific definitions depending on the family involvement and which stage in the life cycle the family business is in.

  • Broad definition: A family business can be broadly defined by the level of influence a family or a small group of families have on business operations through some degree of family participation, while maintaining the control of the firm’s strategic direction.
  • Narrowing: Narrowing this definition ...
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