PE15
Anthropology of family business (IUAES Commission on Enterprise Anthropology)

Convenors:
Tomoko Connolly (College of William and Mary)
Chair:
Tomoko Connolly
Location:
University Place 3.214
Start time:
6 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The session will discuss: multiple definitions of family business; ethnographic and comparative analyses of family businesses; studies of relationship between family business and community; and the current state and future direction of scholarship concerning family business.

Long abstract:

This is part of the Symposium on Enterprise Anthropology organized by the IUAES Commission on Enterprise Anthropology. This session examines anthropology of family business cross-culturally. Family business is broadly defined as a business firm where two or more extended family members influence the direction of the business through the exercise of kinship-based ties, management roles, or ownership rights. It is estimated, that about 90% of American firms, 95% of Italian firms, 80% of Mexican firms are family-owned. Many of these firms are built and managed by families with specific characteristics in terms of kinship and non-kinship-based network and management styles. The firm's publicly professed values and priorities interact with societal values, community structure and power relations at large. Family firms often involve such issues as the founder legacy, the maintenance of the organizational "tradition", succession struggle, and resource allocation among kin and non-kin stakeholders. The proposed session aims at delineating these and other seminal issues of family firms globally, by soliciting papers that will discuss: multiple definitions of family business; ethnographic and comparative analyses of family businesses; studies of relationship between family business and community; and the current state and future direction of scholarship concerning family business.