The history of family sciences is closely linked to that of business management. Both fields emerged in academia at about the same time, and both began with efforts to facilitate efficient and effective use of resources. Many of the management theories applied to individual and family resource management stem from business management. Many of the human resource theories are supported by research in family science and other social sciences. Business management focuses on planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals. The goal of any business is the maximization of this process. It is a conscious effort and a constant process. Choices must be made and evaluated continually.

Although the family is not a business, it does have many of the same goals that a business addresses. Management theories are explored from both the business and family conceptual frameworks in Chapter 3. Business decisions generally have a stronger hierarchical base and more tangible factors available in the decision-making process. Most family management activity begins with that same decision-making process, but family management exists on a higher personal level with more emotional, intangible types of factors to consider. The decision-making process is a major concept addressed and explored throughout this text.

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