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Family ownership and business expansion of small- and medium-sized Chinese family businesses: The mediating role of financing preference

Author

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  • Zhang, Xian
  • Venus, Jill
  • Wang, Yong

Abstract

The relationship between family ownership and business expansion is the subject of controversy among researchers. This article expands on the mediating role of financing preference in the context of family small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in China. In the research programme, the relationship between family ownership and business expansion was empirically examined using data collected from a survey of 206 Chinese family businesses in Henan Province. On one hand, the results show family ownership has a negative effect on a firm's total expansion level and a positive effect on a firm's internal financing preference (ratio of internal to external funds). On the other hand, we found an inverted U-shaped relationship between family ownership and a firm's annual expansion rate. The findings of this research generally indicate a complex relationship between family ownership and family business expansion: (a) Family businesses have a tendency to stagnate; stagnation is therefore a factor in the mediating role of financial preference on business expansion in size. (b) The presence of external equity partners may reduce the limitations of full family ownership; however, selling the majority of the firm is not an effective way to achieve rapid expansion.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Xian & Venus, Jill & Wang, Yong, 2012. "Family ownership and business expansion of small- and medium-sized Chinese family businesses: The mediating role of financing preference," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:3:y:2012:i:2:p:97-105
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfbs.2012.03.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2007. "Performance and Behavior of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 709-751, June.
    2. Lopez-Gracia, Jose & Aybar-Arias, Cristina, 2000. "An Empirical Approach to the Financial Behaviour of Small and Medium Sized Companies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 55-63, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Robin Mackie, 2001. "Family Ownership and Business Survival: Kirkcaldy, 1870-1970," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 1-32.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fitó, M. Àngels & Moya, Soledad & Orgaz, Neus, 2013. "The debate on rented assets capitalization: The economic impact on family firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 260-269.
    2. Goel, Sanjay & Mazzola, Pietro & Phan, Phillip H. & Pieper, Torsten M. & Zachary, Ramona K., 2012. "Strategy, ownership, governance, and socio-psychological perspectives on family businesses from around the world," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 54-65.
    3. Acquaah, Moses, 2013. "Management control systems, business strategy and performance: A comparative analysis of family and non-family businesses in a transition economy in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 131-146.
    4. Landry, Suzanne & Fortin, Anne & Callimaci, Antonello, 2013. "Family firms and the lease decision," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 176-187.

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