Mazzelli, A., Nason, R. S., and Carney, M., 2019. Breadth and depth in family business research: A response to Jaskiewicz, Combs, and Ketchen. Academy of Management Review, 44(4): 918–922.

Ambra Mazzelli | ASB Faculty | Research Paper


Discpline: Management


We appreciate Jaskiewicz, Combs, and Ketchen’s commentary on our recent AMR article “The ties that unbind: Socialization and business-owning family reference point shift” (Nason, Mazzelli, & Carney, 2019). We respond by clarifying our arguments and reflecting on the tension between breadth and depth in family business theorizing. First, we question the premise that generalizability should be a central aim of family business research and theory. Second, we question the specific contention that our theory is not generalizable. More precisely, we argue that the heterogeneous family characteristics that Jaskiewicz and colleagues introduce do little to advance the generalizability of our model, but they do open up interesting questions regarding the temporality of business-owning family reference point shifts.