Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Timothy B. Palmer


This dissertation examined the resource-based view of the firm to explain performance differences among family businesses. How do resources impact strategy and performance in the family firm and what resources are important to strategy and performance in the family firm were the primary research questions. Hypothesized relationships between reputation and financial resources, between human resources, financial resources, and physical resources and strategic perspective, and between strategic perspective and performance were tested in sample of family owned/operated retail jewelry stores. Structural equation modeling (LISREL 8) was used to develop a measurement model and structural model to test the patterns of relationships between the study's constructs. Although indirect effects of resources on performance were the primary focus of the study, both direct and indirect effects were tested. Support was found for hypotheses linking human resources, measured as information processing capacity, and strategic perspective and strategic perspective and performance. In the nested model comparison process, an additional linkage, between reputation and performance, found support. Results generally supported the resource-based view of the firm, thus validating its usefulness as a theoretical base for the study of family firms. For this sample, results indicated that some resources are more critical to firm performance than others, suggesting that successful firms can profit from configuring resources to exploit key resources. Further, family firms that use their information processing capacity to broaden their strategic perspective exhibit stronger performance. Finally, the effect of resources in performance can be both direct and indirect, as was the case here with reputation.