Knowledge-Sharing Is One of the Guarantees of Success in Family Businesses

Knowledge-Sharing Is One of the Guarantees of Success in Family Businesses

Éva Fenyvesi (Budapest Business School, Hungary) and Judit Bernadett Vágány (Budapest Business School, Hungary)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1642-2.ch014


In this chapter a summary of the role family businesses play in the economy will be presented along with one of the main issues of family businesses in Hungary that is succession. Innovation as one of the most important factors of successful family businesses and the organizational culture supporting innovation will also be analysed. Some of the most relevant findings of a research study conducted in Hungary in 2015 will be given. The most significant components of knowledge sharing in SMEs especially in family businesses have been identified. The research results are based on over 300 questionnaires. The following questions have been answered: 1) What is the most decisive factor of choosing between cooperation and competition? 2) Is it possible that family businesses are able to respond to changes and as a result are they innovative? and 3) Is the organizational culture necessary for tacit knowledge sharing present in family businesses?
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The Significance Of Family Businesses

Family businesses are highly relevant not only for the Hungarian economy but also for economies all over the world. As regards to their size, most of the family businesses belong to the category of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) but there is no information about their exact number. One of the reasons for this is that there is a lack of a widely accepted definition of family businesses. Mandl, who carried out a research within the European Union found 90 different descriptions defining family businesses (Mandl, 2008).

In Europe, the percentage of family businesses is around 70 to 80% whereas in North America it is around 80 to 90% (Hnátek, 2015).

The share of family businesses by country is shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
Share of family businesses in European countries (as a % of total enterprise population) (Mandl, 2008)
Czech Republic80Italy65-81Slovakia80-95

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