Empirics in Family Business Research: Progress, Challenges, and the Path Ahead

Robert E. Evert, John A. Martin, Michael S. McLeod, G. Tyge Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Competent research methods and data analysis are essential components for the progression of family business research. To identify and evaluate empirical trends, and make suggestions for future research, we examine 319 empirical articles published in Family Business Review since 1988. These studies are compared with 146 family business research articles published in top-tier journals not dedicated to family business research over the same timeframe. While we substantiate growth in rigor and sophistication, we address specific family business research challenges regarding construct validity, generalizability, causality, temporality, and multilevel issues. Suggestions are provided for future empirical research across six major topical areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-43
Number of pages27
JournalFamily Business Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • empirics
  • family business
  • research methods
  • statistics


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