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R&D investments in family and founder firms: An agency perspective

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  • Block, Joern H.

Abstract

Investments in R&D can influence a firm's ability to develop new products and to create and adopt innovative technologies that may enhance productivity. However, due to uncertainty regarding the outcome, investments in R&D may lead to an agency problem between the owners and the managers of a firm. Family and founder firms are often considered to be different in their agency situation than other firms, which may have an influence on R&D investments. This paper analyzes R&D spending in family and founder firms versus other firms. The results show that while family ownership decreases the level of R&D intensity, ownership by lone founders has a positive effect not only on R&D intensity but also on the level of R&D productivity. The paper contributes to the understanding of the role of entrepreneurship in making high risk/high return R&D decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Block, Joern H., 2012. "R&D investments in family and founder firms: An agency perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 248-265.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:27:y:2012:i:2:p:248-265
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2010.09.003
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