How does family control influence firm strategy and performance? A meta-analysis of US publicly-listed firms

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

Research Question/Issue: A contentious and prominent research question in the management literature is whether publicly listed family firms (FFs) outperform other types of corporations. Through a research synthesis of all available studies on the performance of US FFs, we address this question directly. We also extend the debate by raising three salient follow-up questions. First, is the performance differential between FFs and non-FFs attributable to a unique set of strategic choices? Second, do FF performance effects persist across generational transitions in FF control? Third, are performance differentials across generations attributable to intergenerational shifts in corporate governance and strategy?
Research Findings/Insights: With respect to our primary research question, we find that the balance of evidence indicates that (US) FFs outperform other types of public corporations. We also evaluate competing narratives regarding which
strategies are characteristic of FFs, and demonstrate that their diversification, internationalization, and financing strategies mediate the FF-performance relationship in manners consistent with the narratives advanced by certain leading FF scholars, but not others. Further, we find that the performance of (US) FFs drops dramatically after the first generation and show that this negative performance differential is due to the much more conservative patterns of strategic decision making enacted by successor generations.

Authors van Essen, Marc; Carney, Micheal; Gedajlovic, Eric & Heugens, Pursey
Journal or Publication Title Corporate Governance: An International Review
Language English
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 1 January 2015
Publisher Blackwell
Place of Publication Oxford
Volume 23
Number 1
Page Range 3-24
Number of Pages 22
ISSN 0964-8410
ISSN-Digital 1467-8683
Publisher DOI 10.1111/corg.12080
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Marc van Essen
Date Deposited 14 Oct 2015 11:13
Last Modified 23 Aug 2016 11:22
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/244553

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Citation

van Essen, Marc; Carney, Micheal; Gedajlovic, Eric & Heugens, Pursey (2015) How does family control influence firm strategy and performance? A meta-analysis of US publicly-listed firms. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 23 (1). 3-24. ISSN 0964-8410

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/244553
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