From the Family Business to the Business Family: The Subjective Well-Being Approach




family business, business family, Subjective Well-being


Despite the fact that the family business study has a history and multiple theories that supports research, there is still a need to use approaches that allow a better understanding of the business, starting from the members of the family that comprise it. This research makes a review of the literature searching for ways previously used to classify the business family, as well as the theories for the study of the family business and the business family. Concluding with the presentation of the Subjective Well-being Approach as a new form of study of the family business, being able to contribute to the enrichment of other concepts by including emotions and focusing on the family.


Download data is not yet available.


Akerlof, G. A., & Shiller, R. J. (2015). Animal spirits: How human psychology drives the economy, and why it matters for global capitalism. Princeton university press.

Arena, C., & Michelon, G. (2018). A matter of control or identity? Family firms' environmental reporting decisions along the corporate life cycle. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(8), 1596-1608.

Berrone, P., Cruz, C., & Gomez-Mejia, L. R. (2012). Socioemotional wealth in family firms: Theoretical dimensions, assessment approaches, and agenda for future research. Family Business Review, 25(3), 258-279.

Bird, M., & Zellweger, T. (2018). Relational embeddedness and firm growth: Comparing spousal and sibling entrepreneurs. Organization Science, 29(2), 264-283.

Brigham, K. H., & Payne, G. T. (2019). Socioemotional Wealth (SEW): Questions on Construct Validity. Family Business Review.

Cardona, H. A. A., & Balvín, D. R. (2014). La empresa familiar, el protocolo y la sucesión familiar. Estudios gerenciales, 30(132), 252-258.

Chrisman J, Chua JH and Steier LP (2003) Creating wealth in family firms through managing resources: Comments and extensions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 27(4): 359–366.

Chrisman, J. (2019). Stewardship Theory: Realism, Relevance, and Family Firm Governance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 43(6), 1051–1066.

Chrisman, J., Chua, J. H., Pearson, A. W., & Barnett, T. (2012). Family involvement, family influence, and family–centered non–economic goals in small firms. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 36(2), 267-293.

Cleary, P., Quinn, M., & Moreno, A. (2019). Socioemotional wealth in family firms: A longitudinal content analysis of corporate disclosures. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 10(2), 119-132.

Combs, J. G., Shanine, K. K., Burrows, S., Allen, J. S., & Pounds, T. W. (2020). What do we know about business families? Setting the stage for leveraging family science theories. Family Business Review, 33(1), 38-63

Cruz, C., & Arredondo, H. (2016). Going back to the roots of socioemotional wealth. Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management.

Daspit, J. J., Long, R. G., & Pearson, A. W. (2019). How familiness affects innovation outcomes via absorptive capacity: A dynamic capability perspective of the family firm. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 10(2), 133-143.

Davis, J. H., Schoorman, F. D., & Donaldson, L. (1997). Toward a stewardship theory of management. Academy of Management review, 22(1), 20-47.
de Groote, J. K., & Bertschi-Michel, A. (2020). From Intention to Trust to Behavioral Trust: Trust Building in Family Business Advising. Family Business Review.

Debicki, B. J., Kellermanns, F. W., Chrisman, J. J., Pearson, A. W., & Spencer, B. A. (2016). Development of a socioemotional wealth importance (SEWi) scale for family firm research. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 7(1), 47-57.

Diaz-Moriana, V., Hogan, T., Clinton, E., & Brophy, M. (2019). Defining family business: A closer look at definitional heterogeneity. In The Palgrave handbook of heterogeneity among family firms (pp. 333-374). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Diener, E. (2006). Guidelines for national indicators of subjective well-being and ill-being. Journal of happiness studies, 7(4), 397-404.

Diener, E., Lucas, R. E., & Oishi, S. (2018). Advances and open questions in the science of subjective well-being. Collabra. Psychology, 4(1).

Eddleston, K. A., Kellermanns, F. W., & Zellweger, T. M. (2012). Exploring the entrepreneurial behavior of family firms: Does the stewardship perspective explain differences? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(2), 347-367.

Erdogan, I., Rondi, E., & De Massis, A. (2020). Managing the tradition and innovation paradox in family firms: A family imprinting perspective. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 44(1), 20-54.

Evans, M. I. V. (2006). El proceso de toma de decisiones como un espacio para el aprendizaje en las organizaciones. Revista Ciencias Estratégicas, 14(16), 153-169.

Felício, J. A., & Galindo Villardón, M. P. (2015). Family characteristics and governance of small and medium-sized family firms. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 16(6), 1069-1084.

Gallo, M., & Cappuyns, K. (2004). Miembros de la familia que no trabajan en la empresa familiar: como incrementar su “unidad” y “compromiso”. IESE Business School Universidad de Navarra.

García-Cabrera, A. M., Lucia-Casademunt, A. M., Cuéllar-Molina, D., & Padilla-Angulo, L. (2018). Negative work-family/family-work spillover and well-being across Europe in the hospitality industry: The role of perceived supervisor support. Tourism management perspectives, 26, 39-48.

Glikin, L. (2016). La familia empresaria. Marzo 10, 2019, de Grandes Pymes Sitio web:

Gómez Betancourt, G., Betancourt Ramírez, J., & Zapata Cuervo, N. (2017). Empresas familiares multigeneracionales. Entramado, 8(2), 38-49.

Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Cruz, C., Berrone, P., & De Castro, J. (2011). The bind that ties: Socioemotional wealth preservation in family firms. Academy of Management Annals,5, 653-707.

Gómez-Mejía, L. R., K. T. Haynes, M. Núñez-Nickel, K. J. L. Jacobson, and J. Moyano-Fuentes. 2007.“Socioemotional Wealth and Business Risks in Family-Controlled Firms: Evidence from Spanish Olive Oil Mills. Administrative Science Quarterly 52 (1): 106–137.

Gomez?Mejia, L. R., Makri, M., & Kintana, M. L. (2010). Diversification decisions in family?controlled firms. Journal of management studies, 47(2), 223-252.
Haberlandt, K. (1997). Cognitive psychology. Allyn & Bacon.

Hamilton, E., Discua Cruz, A. & Jack, S. 2017. Re-framing the Status of Narrative in Family Business Research: Towards an Understanding of Families in Business. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 8(1), pp. 3–12.

Hasenzagl, R.; Hatak, I. & Frank, H. (2018) Problematizing socioemotional wealth in family firms: a systems-theoretical reframing, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 30:1-2, 199-223.

Hillebrand, S., Teichert, T., & Steeger, J. (2020). Innovation in Family Firms: An Agency and Resource?Based Lens on Contingencies of Generation and Management Diversity. British Journal of Management, 31(4), 792-810.

Hoelscher, M. L. (2014). Does family capital outweigh the negative effects of conflict on firm performance? Journal of Family Business Management.
Instituto de la Empresa Familiar & Red de Cátedras de Empresa Familiar (2016): La Empresa Familiar en España en 2015. Instituto de la Empresa Familiar.

Jiang, D. S., Kellermanns, F. W., Munyon, T. P., & Morris, M. L. (2018). More than meets the eye: A review and future directions for the social psychology of socioemotional wealth. Family Business Review, 31(1), 125-157.

Kahneman, D. y Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47(2), 263-291.

Kainulainen, S., Saari, J., & Veenhoven, R. (2018). Life-satisfaction is more a matter of feeling well than having what you want. Tests of Veenhoven's theory. International Journal of happiness and Development, 4(3), 209-235.

Kansikas, J., Laakkonen, A., Sarpo, V. and Kontinen, T. (2012). Entrepreneurial leadership and familiness as resources for strategic entrepreneurship, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 141-158.

Kellermanns, F. W., Eddleston, K. A., & Zellweger, T. M. (2012). Article Commentary: Extending the Socioemotional Wealth Perspective: A Look at the Dark Side. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(6), 1175–1182.

Leaptrott, J. (2005). An institutional theory view of the family business. Family Business Review, 18(3), 215-228.

Madison, K., Holt, D. T., Kellermanns, F. W., & Ranft, A. L. (2016). Viewing family firm behavior and governance through the lens of agency and stewardship theories. Family Business Review, 29(1), 65-93.

Madison, K., Kellermanns, F. W., & Munyon, T. P. (2017). Coexisting agency and stewardship governance in family firms: An empirical investigation of individual-level and firm-level effects. Family Business Review, 30(4), 347-368.

Mazzelli, A. (2015). Behavioural theory and the family business. In Theoretical Perspectives on Family Businesses. Edward Elgar Publishing.

McGrath, H., & O’Toole, T. (2018). Extending the concept of familiness to relational capability: A Belgian micro-brewery study. International Small Business Journal, 36(2), 194-219.

Melin, L., Nordqvist, M., & Sharma, P. (Eds.). (2013). The SAGE handbook of family business. Sage.

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(4), 771-785.

Minichilli, A., Corbetta, G., & MacMillan, I. C. (2010). Top management teams in family?controlled companies: ‘familiness’, ‘faultlines’, and their impact on financial performance. Journal of management studies, 47(2), 205-222.

Miroshnychenko, I., De Massis, A., Miller, D., & Barontini, R. (2020). Family Business Growth Around the World. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Moeinaddini, M., Asadi-Shekari, Z., Aghaabbasi, M., Saadi, I., Shah, M. Z., & Cools, M. (2020). Proposing a new score to measure personal happiness by identifying the contributing factors. Measurement, 151, 107115.

Morgan, T. J., & Gomez-Mejia, L. (2014). Hooked on a feeling: The affective component of socioemotional wealth in family firms. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 5(3), 280-288.

Mzid, I., Khachlouf, N., & Soparnot, R. (2019). How does family capital influence the resilience of family firms? Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 17(2), 249-277.

Newbert, S., & Craig, J. B. (2017). Moving beyond socioemotional wealth: Toward a normative theory of decision making in family business. Family Business Review, 30(4), 339-346.

North, D. C. (1993). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge University Press: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Olson, P. D., Zuiker, V. S., Danes, S. M., Stafford, K., Heck, R. K., & Duncan, K. A. (2003). The impact of the family and the business on family business sustainability. Journal of business venturing, 18(5), 639-666.

Real Decreto de 24 de julio de 1889 por el que se publica el Código Civil. Gaceta de Madrid no 206, de 25 de julio de 1889, 249-259. Recuperado de es/rd/1889/07/24/(1)

Restrepo, M. C., & Rosero, X. X. (2002). Teoría institucional y proceso de internacionalización de las empresas colombianas. Estudios Gerenciales, 18(84), 103-123.

Rodríguez Ariza, L.; López Fernández, M.C.; Requejo Puerto, I.; Gómez Miranda, M.E.; Pérez Pérez, M. (2018). Retos de gobernanza en las empresas familiares españolas. Economistas. Nº 158 (junio 2018) 59-68.

Rojas, M. (2007). The Complexity of Well-Being: A Life-Satisfaction Conception and a Domains-of-Life Approach. En I. Gough y A. McGregor (eds.). Researching Well-Being in Developing Countries. Cambridge University Press

Rojas, M. (2011). El bienestar subjetivo: su contribución a la apreciación y la consecución del progreso y el bienestar humano. Realidad, datos y espacio. Revista Internacional de Estadística y Geografía, 2(1), 64-77.

Rojas, M. (2014). El estudio científico de la felicidad (Vol. 582). Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Rojas, M. (2019). Well-Being in Latin America: Drivers and Policies. Springer Nature.

Sharma, P., Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2020). Family Firm Behavior From a Psychological Perspective. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 44(1), 3–19.

Suddaby, R., & Jaskiewicz, P. (2020). Managing Traditions: A Critical Capability for Family Business Success. Family Business Review, 33(3), 234–243.

Swab, R. G., Sherlock, C., Markin, E., & Dibrell, C. (2020). “SEW” What Do We Know and Where Do We Go? A Review of Socioemotional Wealth and a Way Forward. Family Business Review, 33(4), 424-445.

Tápies, J. (2014). Familiness: el valor intangible que aporta la familia a la empresa. marzo 17, 2014, de IESE Sitio web:

Thaler, R. H. (2018). From cashews to nudges: The evolution of behavioral economics. American Economic Review, 108(6), 1265-87.

Trevinyo?Rodríguez, R. N., & Bontis, N. (2010). Family ties and emotions: a missing piece in the knowledge transfer puzzle. Journal of Small business and enterprise development.

Tsai, F. S., Lin, C. H., Lin, J. L., Lu, I. P., & Nugroho, A. (2018). Generational diversity, overconfidence and decision-making in family business: A knowledge heterogeneity perspective. Asia Pacific Management Review, 23(1), 53-59.

Veenhoven, R. (1996). Developments in satisfaction-research. Social indicators research, 37(1), 1-46.

Watkins-Fassler, K., Briano-Turrent, G. D. C., & Rodríguez-Ariza, L. (2019). Desempeño y habilidades de los directores generales familiares en un contexto de debilidad de las instituciones formales. El trimestre económico, 86(341), 179-219.

Yu, X., Stanley, L., Li, Y., Eddleston, K. A., & Kellermanns, F. W. (2020). The Invisible Hand of Evolutionary Psychology: The Importance of Kinship in First-Generation Family Firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 44(1), 134-157.

Zellweger, T. M., Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2019). Social Structures, Social Relationships, and Family Firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 43(2), 207–223.

Zellweger, T. M., Kellermanns, F. W., Chrisman, J., & Chua, J. (2011). Family control and family firm valuation by family CEOs: The importance of intentions for transgenerational control. Organization Science, 1, 1-36




How to Cite

Porto-Robles, Z., Watkins-Fassler, K., & Rodríguez-Ariza, L. (2022). From the Family Business to the Business Family: The Subjective Well-Being Approach. European Journal of Family Business, 12(1), 80–89.



Research article