Which type of advisors do family businesses trust most? An exploratory application of socioemotional selectivity theory

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Broberg, J. Christian
Perry, John T.
Ring, J. Kirk

Broberg, J.C., Perry, J.T., & Ring, J.K. "Which Type of Advisors Do Family Businesses Trust Most? An Exploratory Application of Socioemotional Selectivity Theory." Family Business Review, 0894486514538652. doi: 10.1177/0894486514538652.


In this article, we introduce socioemotional selectivity theory (SEST) from psychology to the family business literature. Applying the theory to family businesses, we argue that a family business's age influences whether it trusts family or professional business advisors most. Consistent with SEST, we find that business age relates to whether the family business emphasizes financial or socioemotional wealth more and that this wealth emphasis relates to whether family members or professional business advisors are trusted most. Based on these findings, we believe that SEST has much to offer to the study of family and nonfamily businesses.

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