About the Event

Jay Mulki, Renfro Fellow and Associate Professor of Marketing, and Kim Eddleston, Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Montoni Research Fellow, shared their research examining the business practices of family-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in India.


As the prevalence of family-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continues to rise globally, there is an increasing interest in examining the ethical behaviors of these family firms. India is a growing economy with more than 90% of businesses dominated by family firms. Our research focuses on the ethical practices of small family-owned businesses in India in light of the government's growing efforts to clean up business practices, curb tax fraud, and reduce ambiguity in business dealings. We conducted a comprehensive two-year study involving personal interviews and data collection from more than 200 family-owned SMEs in India.

Our findings are centered around a mixed gamble perspective of family firm tax evasion. The model developed and tested in this study explains the varying ways in which family firms weigh the costs and benefits of tax evasion. Notably, we observed that family firm identity exhibits a negative correlation with tax evasion when firm performance is high. Conversely, when firm performance is low, family firm identity shows a positive association with tax evasion. Furthermore, insights from interviews with CEOs of family firms shed light on how tax evasion can be rationalized either as a ‘necessity' or an ‘opportunity.' Our study, therefore, reveals why some family firms refrain from tax evasion, some rationalize it for the sake of the family firm, and others see tax evasion as a financial gain worth the risks.

About Jay Mulki and Kim Eddleston

Jay Mulki

Jay Mulki is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Renfro Fellow at Northeastern University.  His primary research interests are in the areas of business ethics, services marketing, personal selling, and sales management. Jay has B2B selling experience in the energy sector in domestic and international markets and has held senior management positions in Fortune 500 companies before entering the doctoral program. He served as a co-chair of the Academy of Marketing Science World Annual Congress, Lima, Peru in 2014, and as a Board Member of the Global Sales Science Institute for the National Conference in Sales Management. He is also a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Psychology & Marketing, and a member of the abstract editorial Board for the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

Jay holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of South Florida, an MBA in Marketing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Mysore University, India.

photo of a woman with blonde hair wearing a gray blazer

Kim Eddleston is a Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Montoni Research Fellow at Northeastern University. She is widely published in the field of entrepreneurship and has won multiple awards for her research on family businesses and women entrepreneurs. Previously, she served as the Toft Visiting Professor at the Jönköping International Business School, Sweden, and a Research Fellow at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Before joining Northeastern University she was the Assistant Director of the Wolff Family Program in Entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut. 

Kim is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business Venturing and a Senior Editor at eix.org. She is on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Review, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Group & Organization Management, Organization Management Review, Journal of Family Business Strategy, Family Business Review, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. She has also served as a guest editor of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Family Business Strategy, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and Small Business Economics.

Kim holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Connecticut, an MS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, and a BSBA from Bryant University.

About the Nardone Family Seminar Series

Made possible by a gift from David R. Nardone, this seminar series brings scholars and practitioners to Northeastern University to share insights on emerging markets.

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