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Evolutionary psychology and family business: A new synthesis for theory, research and practice


Family Business Review


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Nicholson N


Publication Year



The article seeks to show that the ideas of evolutionary psychology have not only a unique contribution to make to the study of family business but have an overarching capacity to integrate theory, resolve empirical debates, and lead research in new directions. The article considers, first, what is different about family firms before outlining the Darwinian framework and its implications, and then moves on to an analysis of kinship dynamics as central to understanding the roots of cooperation and conflict in the family firm. The article concludes with a discussion of the scope for theoretical synthesis, practical implications, and the position this analysis leads us to about the unique performance potential and liabilities of the family firm.

Available on ECCH


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