Toward a Theoretical Basis for Understanding the Dynamics of Strategic Performance in Family Firms


James J. Chrisman, tel.: (662) 325-1991; e-mail:


An important distinction between family and nonfamily firms and among different types of family firms is the manner in which strategy is formulated and implemented. These differences in strategic behaviors can cause variations in firm performance. Understanding the nature of these differences and how the family form of organization drives them therefore contributes to the development of a strategic management theory of the family firm, a unifying theme of the series of special issues published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice to date. This article briefly reflects on the progress made in understanding the strategic differences of family firms in this ongoing series and discusses the contributions of the articles and commentaries contained in this fifth special issue on theories of family enterprise.