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Corporate Governance Rating and Family Firms: The Greek Case


  • Loukas Spanos

    (University of Athens Department of Economics)

  • Lena Tsipouri

    (University of Athens Department of Economics)

  • Manolis Xanthakis

    (University of Athens Department of Economics)


Corporate governance (CG) studies have mostly focused on highly dispersed corporations. However, there is an important need for research exploring the governance structure of family-owned firms. The main characteristics that distinguish the family firm from the other types of corporations are the presence of one or more controlling family and the involvement of the owners in the management. Family firm is the most common form of business in Greece. Hence, the governance structures and the performance of the family firms affect the growth opportunities of the capital market. The aim of the paper is to explore the main aspects of CG of family-owned listed companies in Greece. For this purpose, we apply a specific CG rating methodology, using five core CG criteria to distinguish family from non-family firms: shareholders' rights and obligations; transparency, disclosure of information and auditing; board of directors; CEO and executive management and corporate social responsibility and corporate governance commitment. The overall research objective of the study is to develop a CG rating methodology on the current state of corporate governance in Greece. Each firm is rated among the 120 total number of companies (both family-owned and widely- held). The results disclose the potential strengths and weaknesses of the existing corporate governance framework of the family-owned firms and provide specific policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Loukas Spanos & Lena Tsipouri & Manolis Xanthakis, 2005. "Corporate Governance Rating and Family Firms: The Greek Case," Finance 0503011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0503011
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 17. The authors are grateful to participants at the 2004 Family Firms and Corporate Governance Conference (Istanbul) for helpful comments and discussions. Loukas Spanos acknowledges financial support from the General Secretary of Research & Technology in Greece and the European Union.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    4. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
    5. Chad Leechor, 1999. "Protecting Minority Shareholders in Closely Held Firms," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11471, The World Bank.
    6. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    7. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2005. "The Role of Family Ties in the Labour Market. An Interpretation Based on Efficiency Wage Theory," MPRA Paper 8956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Spanos, Loukas & Mylonakis, John, 2006. "Internet corporate reporting in Greece," MPRA Paper 42997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Spanos, Loukas & Tsipouri, Lena & Xanthakis, Manolis, 2006. "Corporate governance rating in a small open capital market: Methodology and applications in the Greek market," MPRA Paper 42896, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    family firms; corporate governance rating; Greece;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G39 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Other

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