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Practitioner Commentary: Moving From Theory to Practice in Family Business Research


Garry D. Smith, tel.: (662) 325-7001; e-mail:


This paper examines the papers presented at the 2007 Theories of Family Enterprise Conference for their applicability to practice and presents some ideas to make family business research more appropriate to practitioners. In general, we found the papers are not immediately useful to practitioners; however, the papers of a theory conference should not necessarily be immediately useful to practitioners. We identify several areas for future research, which include the development of a concrete definition for family business, a thorough analysis of the positive and negative effects of the concept of familiness, a close look at failed family business, as well as other issues.