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Corporate Governance and Performance in Hong Kong Founded Family Firms: Evidence From the Hang Seng Composite Industry Index


  • Dr Kim Lee
  • Dr Lisa Barnes

    (University of Newcastle, Hong Kong
    University of Newcastle, Australia)


Background of Problem: This research investigates the corporate governance and performance between founding family firms and non-founding family firms in Hong Kong, and the performance inside founding family firms under three different management status. Agency costs will be generated by the divergence between CEO interest and those of the outside shareholders if the owner-manager sells equity claims on the corporation. There are two different mainstreams of views regarding relationships between ownership and performance in family business: negative and positive effect generated from family ownership and control. To what extents the two different views are relevant to Hong Kong family firms are still unclear. Research Method and Data: By focusing on Hong Kong business, this research seeks to study 75 Hong Kong listed companies in HSCII for 5 years, yielding 347 observations, using archival data. The empirical result suggests that the founding family firms in Hong Kong may not outperform nonfamily firms, and the founding family firms with founders as CEOs are one of best performers among founding family firms. This research not only studies the performance behaviours of Hong Kong founding/non-founding family business and inside founding family business, but also sets a foundation for further research. This research gives insights for entrepreneurs to manage their businesses and plan the succession of founding family business in Hong Kong. This research into corporate governance is different to that of countries such as USA, Taiwan, and Mainland China. The founding family firms in Hong Kong may not outperform the nonfamily firms and the founding family firms with the founder as CEO is one of the best management techniques inside founding family firms. This research shows agency costs inside founding family firms affects performance and succession of family firms, as descendants may not be the best successors for firm value maximization, and business continuity. Owners of Hong Kong founding family business should pay more attention on business governance and succussion planning.

Suggested Citation

  • Dr Kim Lee & Dr Lisa Barnes, 2017. "Corporate Governance and Performance in Hong Kong Founded Family Firms: Evidence From the Hang Seng Composite Industry Index," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 51(1), pages 401-410, January-M.
  • Handle: RePEc:jda:journl:vol.51:year:2017:issue1:pp:401-410

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    Cited by:

    1. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Ng, Joe Cho Yiu & Tang, Edward Chi Ho, 2019. "What do we know about Housing Supply? The case of Hong Kong," MPRA Paper 93510, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Founding Family Business; Corporate Governance; Performance; Agency Costs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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