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Family ownership logic: Framing the core characteristics of family businesses

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2014

Ethel Brundin*
Jönköping International Business School, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership, Jönköping, Sweden
Emilia Florin Samuelsson
School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden
Leif Melin
Jönköping International Business School, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership, Jönköping, Sweden
Corresponding author:


In this article we show how specific family business logic shapes managerial practices. Based on empirical material from 20 case studies of family ownership governance, our study identifies seven core characteristics of family ownership logic. These include active, visible and persistent ownership with few owners, relatively stable strategic development encompassing multiple ownership goals, autonomy towards capital markets, and a strong identification and emotional bonding with the business. By considering the family business context, we find managerial practices that are prevalent in the majority of businesses around the world and that have implications for ownership research. It is concluded that by taking the logic of ownership into consideration when studying family businesses, researchers in this field can contribute to the growing literature on sociocultural and behavioural factors in corporate governance relations.

Invited Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2014 

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