32 For Better or for Worse: Family Employees’ Quest for Role Segmentation in Family Businesses

Annie Lecompte


This article provides a conceptual framework on the segmentation of work-family roles of family employees in family businesses. While the previous literature on work-family interface in family firms mainly focuses on the negative outcomes of managing role boundaries in such a context, I propose that family employees can successfully segment roles, but that the relation is moderated by several factors, namely their level of emotional ownership, the degree of attachment of the family, the presence or absence of border-keepers and the level of organizational role integration.

Keywords: family firms, work boundaries, boundary theory, work/family border theory, three-circle model


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