Contextualizing Performances of Family Firms The Perspective of Business History

Performances have only recently been addressed in business history research, partly because of problems concerning data quality and availability. As a consequence, performance measurement in family firms has been a neglected area in historical studies. Family business historians are thus increasingly interested in this topic. However, the longitudinal perspective adopted requires a problematical approach to the concept of performance. This article provides a critical assessment of the relationship between family firms and performance measurement from the perspective of business history and, at the same time, suggests the potential contribution of historical analysis to theory building in this field.