Loss of control vs. risk reduction: decision factors for hiring non-family CFOs in family firms
AbstractObjectives: We examine decision factors of family firm owners for hiring a non-family Chief Financial Officer (CFO). We explore the perceptions of family firm owners towards external managers by analyzing how their family-specific and company-specific goals relate to the employment of a non-family CFO. Furthermore, we analyze the consequences of hiring a non-family CFO on financial policies such as the use of strategic financial plans and initiatives to improve relationships with external capital providers. Prior work: Prior research has acknowledged that the attitude to external managers is a major concern for family firms because of potential problems due to a separation of ownership and management. However, it was shown that non-family CFOs positively influence the operational performance of privately-held family firms. Little knowledge exists to date to explicitly link the decision to hire an external CFO to the goals of family firm owners. Approach: Our study is based on a survey of 237 small- and medium-sized privately-held German family firms in 2007. We use logistic regression analysis to test our theory-driven hypotheses on the relationship between family-specific as well as company-specific goals of the family and the employment of a non-family CFO. Furthermore, we use OLS and logistic regression analysis to analyze hypotheses on how non-family CFOs influence financial policies. Results: The results suggest that family firm owners are reluctant to hire non-family CFOs because of agency type of problems. They decide against an external CFO when their goal of independence and control is high. Furthermore, they do not seem to trust external managers to act in accordance to their goal of enterprise value growth. However, they seem to realize that non-family CFOs are likely to decrease financial risk through the provision of additional capabilities. Non-family CFOs are shown to influence financial policies and, thereby, to bring in value creating resources. Implications: Family firm owners can use the results to understand the relevant factors they should consider when employing an external CFO. In particular, they should focus on establishing incentive structures for external managers to follow goals of the family. Candidates for non-family CFOs are able to better comprehend the underlying objectives of family firm owners in the hiring decision. Value: Our findings are relevant to further disentangle the relationship between external managers and family firm owners. By applying both the agency theory and the resource based view, we are able to offer explanations for and against the decision to hire non-family CFOs in family firms. --
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS), Technische Universität München in its series CEFS Working Paper Series with number 2010-04.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
CFO; family firms; financial policy; entrepreneurial finance; corporate governance;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Eleni Stavrou & George Kassinis & Alexis Filotheou, 2007. "Downsizing and Stakeholder Orientation Among the Fortune 500: Does Family Ownership Matter?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 149-162, May.
- Lorraine Uhlaner & Roberto Floren & Jurgen Geerlings, 2007. "Owner Commitment and Relational Governance in the Privately-Held Firm: An Empirical Study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 275-293, October.
- Wallau, Frank & Haunschild, Ljuba & Hauser, Hans-Eduard & Wolter, Hans-Jürgen, 2007. "Die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Familienunternehmen," IfM-Materialien 172, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
- Yannick Bammens & Wim Voordeckers & Anita Gils, 2008. "Boards of directors in family firms: a generational perspective," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 163-180, August.
- Jaskiewicz, Peter & Klein, Sabine, 2007. "The impact of goal alignment on board composition and board size in family businesses," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 1080-1089, October.
- Harvey James, 1999. "Owner as Manager, Extended Horizons and the Family Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 41-55.
- Stefano Caselli & Alberta Di Giuli, 2010. "Does the CFO matter in family firms? Evidence from Italy," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 381-411.
- Lex Donaldson & James H. Davis, 1991. "Stewardship Theory or Agency Theory: CEO Governance and Shareholder Returns," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 16(1), pages 49-64, June.
- Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1994.
"A welfare comparison of intermediaries and financial markets in Germany and the U.S,"
95-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1995. "A welfare comparison of intermediaries and financial markets in Germany and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-209, February.
- Jan de Kok & Lorraine M. Uhlaner, 2001.
"Organization Context and Human Resource Management in the Small Firm,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
01-038/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- de Kok, Jan & Uhlaner, Lorraine M, 2001. " Organization Context and Human Resource Management in the Small Firm," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 273-91, December.
- Holland, Phyllis G. & Boulton, William R., 1984. "Balancing the "Family" and the "Business" in family business," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 16-21.
- Olof Brunninge & Mattias Nordqvist & Johan Wiklund, 2007. "Corporate Governance and Strategic Change in SMEs: The Effects of Ownership, Board Composition and Top Management Teams," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 295-308, October.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Korting, Timm, 1998. "Lending relationships in Germany - Empirical evidence from survey data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1317-1353, October.
- Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
- Wen-Hsien Tsai & Yi-Chen Kuo & Jung-Hua Hung, 2009. "Corporate diversification and CEO turnover in family businesses: self-entrenchment or risk reduction?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 57-76, January.
- 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.
- William S. Schulze & Michael H. Lubatkin & Richard N. Dino, 2002. "Altruism, agency, and the competitiveness of family firms," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4-5), pages 247-259.
- Hiebl, Martin R.W., 2013. "Bean counter or strategist? Differences in the role of the CFO in family and non-family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 147-161.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.