Knowledge sharing in small family firms: a leadership perspective

James Cunningham*, Claire Seaman, David McGuire

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Knowledge sharing is considered critical in the development of a knowledge resource to contribute to the strategic development of the firm. However, how this key organisational activity takes place in small family firms is unknown, as much of the surrounding literature focuses on large, nonfamily-oriented firms. This mixed-methods article investigates the nature of knowledge sharing in small family firms, and explores the role of the influence of family in knowledge resource development. Quantitative findings (n = 110) acknowledge heterogeneity of leadership style in small family firms and identify two distinct ways in which knowledge sharing activities are approached; while qualitative data (n = 26) examine implications for individual knowledge sharing and the role that family plays. This article contributes to both the family business and knowledge sharing literature and outlines implications for the way in which small family firms view the development of their knowledge resource.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-46
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Family Business Strategy
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Nov 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


    • Family firms
    • knowledge sharing
    • path-goal theory
    • mixed-methods
    • factor analysis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge sharing in small family firms: a leadership perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this