Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Maria I Marshall

Committee Chair

Maria I Marshall

Committee Member 1

Craig L Dobbins

Committee Member 2

James K Binkley


Previous family business literature has analyzed how various management strategies or family tension has impacted profit. However, profit can vary due to the different family values and goals placed on the firm. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the business philosophy of a family business influenced profit. The present study sought to examine how the family business' philosophy, as in if they have a family-first or business-first orientation, influences profit. This study also investigates how the distribution of the business to the next generation, as well as how hiring family members who may not have the qualifications to key management positions, could decrease family business profit. Results showed that a family-first philosophy did not have a statistically significant effect on profit, while distributing the business to a family successor positively affected profit. The attitude that family members should be hired to a key management position regardless of their qualification did not significantly affect business profit. A firm's transfer plan positively impacted business profit.