Sustaining the family business with minimal financial rewards: How do family farms continue?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



We engaged in a multicase comparative study exploring how family farm businesses continue when economic returns are minimal. We analyzed strategic approaches used by 20 family dairy farms operating in the United Kingdom and identified four different strategic behaviors chosen by the family farm businesses—diversifying the business, maximizing debt, sacrificing family needs, and compromising. Each strategy allows the firm to survive, but has consequences for the family, the business, or both. Our study contributes to the socioemotional wealth literature by showing how emotional attachment to the business can influence firm decision making.

Bibliographic note

6th most downloaded paper for the journal May 2015. Awarded best journal paper 2015 for the journal


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-177
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Business Review
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • family farms, strategic approach, business continuation, socioemotional wealth