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Business stressors, family-business identity, and divorce in family business: A vulnerability-stress-adaptation (VSA) model

Sanchez-Ruiz, Paul, Maldonado-Bautista, Ileana and Matthew Rutherford

Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2018, vol. 9, issue 3, 167-179

Abstract: A considerable amount of research focuses on how divorce in enterprising families influences family business outcomes. Yet, the impact that family businesses have on the divorce of enterprising families remains relatively under-researched. We contribute to the emerging enterprising family heterogeneity literature by building upon the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation (VSA) model and explore two questions regarding the influence of family businesses on divorce: Do family business-related stressors influence divorce? And, if so, what adaptive processes help enterprising families to cope with family business-related stressors? We hypothesize that high levels of debt and high sales revenue levels (as stressors) positively and significantly affect the rate of divorce in family businesses. In addition, we contend that a strong identity alignment between family and business moderates the stressors-divorce relationship, reducing the divorce rate. Our empirical assessment of divorce in family businesses employs two large cross-sectional data sets—the 1997 (N = 2495) and 2002 (N = 583) American Family Business Surveys.11Special thanks to the Mass Mutual/Raymond Institute American Family Business Surveys (Astrachan, Klein et al., 2002). Overall, we find that our stressors do increase the rate of divorce, but this can be mitigated by identity alignment.

Keywords: Divorce; Vulnerability-stress-adaptation model; Family-to-business identity alignment; Debt; Sales revenue (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:9:y:2018:i:3:p:167-179