Numerous studies have investigated the impact of family influence on
the performance of a firm. The most-cited scholarly article in this
respect was published by Anderson and Reeb (2003) who found that
publicly quoted family firms outperformed their nonfamily
counterparts. Since publication of Anderson and Reeb’s (2003)
article, comparable studies have been replicated throughout the
world. Miller and Le Breton-Miller (2005) wrote a comprehensive
overview of existing family business performance studies.
The research does not present a monolithic picture. The link between performance and family influence is greatly affected by the definition of the family firm employed in the research, the precise question analyzed by the researchers, and the definition of performance considered. Whereas the literature provided by Miller and Le Breton-Miller (2005, 14) includes studies that show superior performance of family firms along various performance dimensions, other studies draw a less positive picture of family firm performance. For example Bennedsen, Nielsen, Perez-Gonzalez and Wolfenzon (2006) find that overall, non-family CEOs provide valuable services to the organizations they head, thereby supporting the case that family managed firms have lower performance than non-family firms. In a similar vein, Perez-Gonzalez (2006) finds that firms where incoming CEOs are related to the departing CEO, to a founder, or to a large shareholder by either blood or marriage undergo large declines in operating returns on assets and market-to-book ratios, relative to firms that promote unrelated CEOs. Furthermore, Bloom and van Reenen (2006) find that that poor management practices are more prevalent when family-owned firms pass management control down to the eldest sons (primo geniture).
Because the available research is ambiguous as to whether family influence is beneficial or detrimental to firm performance, we need to further investigate in what ways family as an organizational variable affects firm performance.
Family Firms, Performance
|kind of paper||journal article|
|date of appearance||19-6-2008|
|journal||Zeitschrift für KMU und Entrepreneurship : ZfKE|
|publisher||Duncker & Humblot (Berlin)|
|volume of journal||56|
|number of issue||2|
|citation||Astrachan, J. H., & Zellweger, T. (2008). Performance of family firms: A literature review and guidance for future research: Die Performance von Familienunternehmen: Literaturübersicht und Orientierungshilfe für künftige Forschungsarbeiten. Zeitschrift für KMU und Entrepreneurship : ZfKE, 56(2), 83-108, DOI:10.3790/zfke.56.1_2.83.|