Family business in Asia: Status and Future Directions of Research


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In the current scenario, family firms in emerging markets confront unique challenges linked to political instability, regulatory shifts, and economic fluctuations (Wadhwa and Syamala, 2023). The evolution of the business landscape, also for family companies in emerging markets, has been shaped by globalization, technological progress, and shifts in consumer preferences (Ahlstrom et al., 2020). This convergence of forces introduces both challenges and opportunities for family businesses aspiring to excel in these markets. Recent studies on family firms in emerging markets investigated he unique attributes of this type of companies, concentrating on strategies, governance structures, succession planning, and resilience in the face of dynamism. Additionally, the adaptation of family firms to evolving consumer needs and their ability to sustain competitiveness within swiftly changing markets represented a focal point of inquiry. 
In more detail, family firms are the most characteristic organizational form in the Asian business landscape and in most countries they are often the oldest as well. They represent more than 80% of all corporations through a vast swath of industries and a third of the value of listed companies in Asian markets (Bennedsen et al., 2022). Although family business research on the Asian region remains limited, family companies are flourishing within this area (Dinh and Calabrò, 2019). Family firms have played a pivotal role in driving Asia's economic advancement, significantly contributing to regional progress (e.g., Memili et al., 2015; Tomizawa et al., 2020). If on one side, current research has primarily stemmed from Western context, leaving a void in the applicability of Western theories to Asian family firms, on the other side, in recent years, research on family firms in Asia has expanded in scope. It is the context and all the cultural and institutional aspects that fundamentally differentiate Asian family companies from their Western counterparts. However, the current body of research lacks a unifying and comprehensive theoretical framework to guide the understanding of factors that influence the strategic behavior and performance of Asian family companies (Fang et al., 2021).
In this scenario, there is a need to shed light - before, during and after a pandemic crisis in Asia context - on the complex relationship between i) family firms and innovation ii) family firms and sustainability, iii) family firms and international business, and iv) family firms and international business.

This Special Issue aims on providing insights and tools to help scholars to better know the family businesses in Asia. In particular, we encourage contributions that describe the status, history and challenges facing family firms in the largest Asian economies (e.g., China, India, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan). The Special Issue seeks contributions that will help develop and enhance theories in the international context, with managerial and financial implications. 
Papers considered for the Special Issue must address a real-world family firms question by adopting a managerial and/or financial perspective. Purely empirical papers that contribute to theory and practice using any methodological approach (e.g., survey, time-lag studies, longitudinal studies, cross-national comparative studies, case-studies, mixed-methods studies) are welcome, as are theoretical papers (e.g., systematic literature reviews, bibliometric analysis, conceptual papers, qualitative meta-analysis review).

List of Topic Areas

The Guest Editors invite conceptual, methodological, and empirical contributions that address themes such as – but not limited - to the following in the Asia context:

  • how the Covid-19 pandemic affected family businesses and their strategies in the post-pandemic economic recovery;
  • integration between family business and international business theories;
  • the effects of family involvement on firm performance;
  • corporate social responsibility in family firms and greenwashing risk;
  • the financial perspective of philanthropy and other CSR strategies in the family business;
  • the role of gender on family business´ entrepreneurial context;
  • entrepreneurial activities and their effects on family business performance;
  • financial innovation (FinTech) in family firms;
  • digital entrepreneurial finance in family business;
  • governance challenges of family firms and the role of institutions behind family ownership and control in medium-large firms;
  • the role of HRM on the success of CSR strategies;
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning in family firms.

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: February, 1 2024
Closing date for manuscripts submission: November, 30 2024

Guest Editors

Enrico Battisti (managing guest editor), University of Turin, Italy
Elias Hadjielias, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
Andrea Calabrò, IPAG Business School, France


Ahlstrom, D., Arregle, J. L., Hitt, M. A., Qian, G., Ma, X., & Faems, D. (2020). Managing technological, sociopolitical, and institutional change in the new normal. Journal of Management Studies, 57(3), 411-437.
Bennedsen, M., Lu, Y.-C. and Mehrotra, V. (2022), A Survey of Asian Family Business Research. Asia Pac J Financ Stud, 51: 7-43.
Dinh, T. Q., & Calabrò, A. (2019). Asian family firms through corporate governance and institutions: A systematic review of the literature and agenda for future research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 21(1), 50-75.
Fang, H. C., Singh, K., Kim, T., Marler, L., & Chrisman, J. J. (2021). Family business research in Asia: review and future directions. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 1-42.
Jiang, Y., & Peng, M. W. 2011. Are family ownership and control in large firms good, bad, or irrelevant? Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 28(1): 15-39.
Memili, E., Fang, H., Chrisman, J. J., & De Massis, A. (2015). The impact of small-and medium-sized family firms on economic growth. Small Business Economics, 45, 771-785.
Tomizawa, A., Zhao, L., Bassellier, G., & Ahlstrom, D. (2020). Economic growth, innovation, institutions, and the Great Enrichment. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 37, 7-31.
Wadhwa, K., & Syamala, S. R. (2023). Are business groups different from other family firms? Evidence from corporate investments during political uncertainty. Emerging Markets Review, 54, 100947.