Chapter 2 acknowledges that existing family business research directs considerable attention to the social dimension with reference to socioemotional wealth, familiness, emotions, stewardship, cultural competence and entrepreneurship, for example. With succession in focus the social complexity of trans-generational change is explored. Without a concern for socio-material weaving scholars commonly refer to family business as a context attributed the characteristics of a system. The resource-based view and theories of social exchange, structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, agency and evolution and a combination of theories explain what happens within the family business system and how it affects and is affected by the external environment. ‘External environment’ suggests the wider spatial context of industrial district (including arenas), region and country in which scholars place the family business. Also noted, in business history research we are encountered with family businesses that operate and develop in continental, international and country-specific contexts.
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