Family ownership and business survival: Kirkcaldy, 1870-1970

Mackie, R. (2001). Family ownership and business survival: Kirkcaldy, 1870-1970. Business History, 43(3) pp. 1–32.




This article uses a study of industrial firms in the Scottish burgh of Kirkcaldy to demonstrate high and rising survival among family firms during the first half of the twentieth century. Survival rates, however, were not constant and trends are linked to the evolving relationship between family and firm. In particular, it is argued that the adoption of limited liability increased the chances of firm survival, but also altered the character of family-owned firms. Finally, th article considers the reasons for a rise in exits in the 1950s and 1960s.

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