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Governance Issues in Family Firms

RESearch Track

Track co-Chairs: Andreas Dutzi & Martin R. W. Hiebl, University of Siegen

Description of the track

Research papers on governance issues still emphasize the similarities and differences between family and non-family firms. However, family firms are not a homogenous group with a given set of management concepts, challenges and boundaries. In contrast, recent family business research has increasingly focused on heterogeneity among family firms. This is why there is still a need for a deeper understanding of the relationship between governance issues, various family firm characteristics and sustainability of businesses. As good governance is typically associated with the ability of a firm to achieve its goals while being sustainable in creating value, we are looking for new analytical approaches, governance concepts, theoretical frameworks or empirical evidence on how to balance value creation, power and trust within family firms.

Key topics and research questions of the track
  • How should governance mechanisms be designed to foster growth in entrepreneurial family firms?
  • How do family firms recognize and respond to new web-based business models, which are threatening traditional rules of business and governance concepts?
  • How should corporate governance and risk management be combined in family firms to support sustainable value creation?
  • Is there still a need of boards in postmodern business organizations and how do family firms generally balance power and trust? 
  • What are the roles of family councils and constitutions to overcome boundaries within family firms?
  • How do new analytical approaches and methodologies help to better understand the success and failures of family firms?
  • How do aspects of family business professionalization (e.g., control systems, human resource management systems) contribute to solving governance issues in family firms?

We encourage contributions that address one or more of the listed topics above, using qualitative analyses and case studies, empirical analyses and developing theoretical frameworks. The workshop is also open to research addressing other adjacent and related topics.

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