Agency differences in professional family businesses: the known and the unknown
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We suggest in this paper one of the reasons that researchers concur agency costs in family firms are more complex than originally thought maybe related to the lack of conceptual clarity. This, we propose, is because when frameworks and theories are borrowed and enthusiastically embraced without attention to clearly defining concepts from original sources, conceptual clarity is clouded. Clarity is achieved by specifying the conditions necessary for these concepts to be applicable in generating originally envisaged consequences. We present the conditions necessary for the optimum applicability of original agency theoretical concepts in family firms and tentatively distinguish between what is known and what is still to be known. From this, we distill a series of research questions that will guide the ongoing development of our Theory of Family Business Distinctiveness.