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Locus of Ownership and Family Involvement in Small Private Firms


  • Mark K. Fiegener


The relationship between ownership and family involvement in small businesses is not altogether clear because empirical studies have not distinguished among family ownership, family management, and owner-management in composing their samples. In the present study, a large sample of small private firms is parsed into sub-samples with distinctly different types of owners in order to isolate the effects of locus of ownership. The results show that firms with different locus of ownership behave differently with respect to the extent of involvement by the CEO's relatives as employees, key managers, advisors, and board members. Although owner-managers and sole-proprietors would seem to have more authority than other CEOs to involve family members in the operations of the business, the findings indicate that these self-owned firms have significantly less family involvement than firms owned entirely by relatives of the CEO. Copyright (c) 2009 The Author. Journal compilation (c) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

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  • Mark K. Fiegener, 2010. "Locus of Ownership and Family Involvement in Small Private Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 296-321, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:2:p:296-321

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kimberly A. Eddleston & Franz Willi Kellermanns & Ravi Sarathy, 2008. "Resource Configuration in Family Firms: Linking Resources, Strategic Planning and Technological Opportunities to Performance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 26-50, January.
    2. Michael H. Lubatkin & Yan Ling & William S. Schulze, 2007. "An Organizational Justice-Based View of Self-Control and Agency Costs in Family Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(6), pages 955-971, September.
    3. Steier, Lloyd, 2003. "Variants of agency contracts in family-financed ventures as a continuum of familial altruistic and market rationalities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 597-618, September.
    4. Zahra, Shaker A., 2003. "International expansion of U.S. manufacturing family businesses: the effect of ownership and involvement," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 495-512, July.
    5. Danny Miller & Isabelle Le Breton-Miller & Barry Scholnick, 2008. "Stewardship vs. Stagnation: An Empirical Comparison of Small Family and Non-Family Businesses," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 51-78, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Jean-Luc Arregle & Michael A. Hitt & David G. Sirmon & Philippe Very, 2007. "The Development of Organizational Social Capital: Attributes of Family Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 73-95, January.
    8. William S. Schulze & Michael H. Lubatkin & Richard N. Dino & Ann K. Buchholtz, 2001. "Agency Relationships in Family Firms: Theory and Evidence," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(2), pages 99-116, April.
    9. Eric Gedajlovic & Michael H. Lubatkin & William S. Schulze, 2004. "Crossing the Threshold from Founder Management to Professional Management: A Governance Perspective," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 899-912, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henrik Harms, 2014. "Review of Family Business Definitions: Cluster Approach and Implications of Heterogeneous Application for Family Business Research," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-35, July.
    2. repec:eee:jbrese:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:34-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wessel, Stephan & Decker, Carolin & Lange, Knut S.G. & Hack, Andreas, 2014. "One size does not fit all: Entrepreneurial families’ reliance on family offices," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 37-45.
    4. Raj Mahto & Peter Davis & Dmitry Khanin, 2014. "Continuation Commitment: Family’s Commitment to Continue the Family Business," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 278-289, June.
    5. Basco, Rodrigo, 2013. "The family's effect on family firm performance: A model testing the demographic and essence approaches," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 42-66.
    6. Cabrera-Suárez, Mª Katiuska & Déniz-Déniz, Mª de La Cruz & Martín-Santana, Josefa D., 2014. "The setting of non-financial goals in the family firm: The influence of family climate and identification," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 289-299.
    7. Grundström, Christina & Öberg, Christina & Öhrwall Rönnbäck, Anna, 2012. "Family-owned manufacturing SMEs and innovativeness: A comparison between within-family successions and external takeovers," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 162-173.
    8. Chrisman, James J. & Chua, Jess H. & Steier, Lloyd P. & Wright, Mike & McKee, D’Lisa N., 2012. "An agency theoretic analysis of value creation through management buy-outs of family firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 197-206.
    9. Kwon, Yonghyun & Han, Seung Hun & Lee, Bong-Soo, 2016. "Financial constraints and negative spillovers in business groups: Evidence from Korea," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 84-100.
    10. William S. Schulze & Eric R. Gedajlovic, 2010. "Whither Family Business?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 191-204, March.

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