Family firm density and likelihood of failure: An ecological perspective

Marta Caccamo, Daniel Pittino, Francesco Chirico

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter aims at establishing a link between family business research and regional science. Drawing from the density dependence model from organizational ecology and embeddedness theory, we develop four testable propositions to inquire about the effect of the emergence of family firms’ agglomerations in the territory on firms’ survival.

We theorize that increased family firm density reduces the likelihood of firm failure and this effect is (a) higher for family firms than for non-family firms, (b) lower in urban than in rural areas, and (c) higher in fine-grained variable environments than in stable environments. Contributions and future research implications are detailed in the concluding section.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook of heterogeneity among family firms
EditorsEsra Memili, Clay Dibrell
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783319776767
ISBN (Print)9783319776750
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Density dependence
  • Embeddedness
  • Failure
  • Family business


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