Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth, eds. A. Stewart, G. T. Lumpkin, and J. A. Katz, Vol. 12 (2010)
Less polemical authors have published useful overviews of scholarship and institutional development in family business (Chrisman, Kellermanns, Chan, & Liano, 2010; Heck, Hoy, Poutziouris, & Steier, 2008; Schulze & Gedajlovic, 2010; Sharma, 2004). I take this as license for hyperbole. In such a vein, I am skeptical eight times over: that the field can be objective, that it can be defined, that “family business” is the right label, that it will find useful theories, that kinship exists, that if it does exist (all right, I do believe it does) we really observe it in action, that the field can progress without regressing, that it can be relevant, and that it can find its niche in universities. “Skeptical” has a nice ring to it. I confess, though, that my concerns are worries more than a lack of willingness to believe. After all, I hope that the papers in this volume will goad us into avoiding pitfalls as the field develops.