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Corporate Governance and Entrepreneurial Firms


  • Audretsch, David B.
  • Lehmann, Erik E.


Although topics in corporate governance have been present in literature for almost a century, most of the theoretical and empirical work has focused on large and public companies, or the " Berle-Means-Corporation " in which fragmented ownership, caused by the separation of ownership and control, shifts power in the firm toward managers. While this research has improved our understanding of how large corporations are governed, corporate governance in small and medium sized enterprises, and in particular in entrepreneurial firms, has rarely been studied. While academia, managers, and policy makers are deeply concerned with how many jobs are created by new ventures, how much they should invest, and how much wealth they generate. In particular they are concerned in their local and national economy, for there is only scarce evidence on how entrepreneurial firms can and should organize their factors of production in a way that promotes success, and how they are governed. With the emergence of the "New Economy" that is step-by-step replacing the "Managed Economy," governance problems in these entrepreneurial firms appear. This essay offers a reflective overview of corporate governance mechanisms in entrepreneurial firms and offers an explanation on how and why they may differ from those mechanisms in large and publicly traded corporations.

Suggested Citation

  • Audretsch, David B. & Lehmann, Erik E., 2014. "Corporate Governance and Entrepreneurial Firms," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 10(1-2), pages 1-160, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000037

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    Cited by:

    1. Katalin Takacs Haynes & Michael A. Hitt & Joanna Tochman Campbell, 2015. "The Dark Side of Leadership: Towards a Mid-Range Theory of Hubris and Greed in Entrepreneurial Contexts," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 479-505, June.

    More about this item


    Corporate governance; Entrepreneurship; Microeconomics; Management;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General


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