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Owner as Manager, Extended Horizons and the Family Firm

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  • Harvey James

Abstract

Previous work on firm ownership structure suggests that organizations in which ownership and control are combined may be undervalued relative to the market investment rule because decision makers have an incentive to forgo investment projects that managers in firms with specialized ownership find profitable. However, the specialization of ownership and decision-making functions may result in substantial agency costs. This paper shows that these tradeoffs may not exist in family firms. The extended horizons characteristic of family businesses may provide the necessary incentives for decision makers to invest according to the market rule while limiting agency costs that arise when ownership and control are separated. Family ties, loyalty, insurance, and stability are expected to be effective in lengthening the horizons of managers and in providing the incentives for family managers to make efficient investments in the family business.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13571519984304
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 41-55

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:6:y:1999:i:1:p:41-55

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Related research

Keywords: Family Firms; Governance; Extended Horizons; Managerial Decisionmaking;

References

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  1. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-49, June.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1993. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1974. "Utility and Profit Maximization by an Owner-Manager: Towards a General Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 97-108, December.
  4. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  5. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
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  8. Fama, Eugene F. & Jensen, Michael C., 1985. "Organizational forms and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 101-119, March.
  9. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
  10. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  11. Lopez, Ramon E., 1984. "Estimating labor supply and production decisions of self-employed farm producers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 61-82.
  12. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
  13. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  14. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Success and Occupational Inheritance among Proprietors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 563-79, August.
  15. Pollak, Robert A, 1985. "A Transaction Cost Approach to Families and Households," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 581-608, June.
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