Inspecting the Achilles heel: a quantitative analysis of 50 years of family business definitions
Remedios Hernández-Linares (),
Soumodip Sarkar () and
Manuel J. Cobo ()
Additional contact information
Remedios Hernández-Linares: University of Extremadura
Soumodip Sarkar: Department of Management and CEFAGE-UE, University of Évora
Manuel J. Cobo: University of Cádiz
Scientometrics, 2018, vol. 115, issue 2, 929-951
Abstract Despite numerous attempts by academics from many disciplines and various regional contexts, there is still no agreement on a definition of family business. Subjecting 258 definitions found in work published over the past 50 years (1964–2013) to the bibliometric techniques of consensus and co-word analysis to uncover intellectual structure, we identify the key terms used to underpin the concept of family business and to track the progress made towards consensus on its definition. We find an emergence of definitional key terms by which scholars attempt to clarify the concepts of family and family business, and growing agreement of what criteria should be met in framing a definition. This study contributes to the literature by offering a synthesis of what constitutes a family business, as well as a systematic and quantitative analysis of its evolution over a half century of research. It also shows how bibliometric tools can be used to shed light on fields where definitional ambiguity persists.
Keywords: Family business; Definitions; Bibliometric; Co-word analysis; Consensus analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11192-018-2702-1 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2702-1
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Scientometrics is currently edited by Wolfgang Glänzel
More articles in Scientometrics from Springer, Akadémiai Kiadó
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().