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Family Business Research: The Evolution of an Academic Field

For many years, attorneys, accountants, financial planners, insurance agents, management consultants, and therapists have practiced their trade within family businesses with considerable success. Academics have been studying family businesses for decades, often interviewing founders and their successors and recording their responses. These case studies were often archived in the files of professors or graduate students and not shared with the general public. Only in recent times have scholar-practitioners begun to be concerned with cumulating and generalizing these insights through surveys and more sophisticated statistical analysis. As the academic and professional community began to conceive family business as a separate and distinct discipline, it began to be concerned with building the infrastructure of a new academic discipline.

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