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Corporate governance in family firms: a literature review

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The governance discussion in the family business field has received much attention during the past years. The interest in the subject comes not only from the academic side; the topic figures also among the top priorities on the agenda of family business owners and their advisors alike. This paper reviews the current state of research on family business governance and its link to family business performance. The review of the extant literature indicates that families bring an element of performance to the business, but that, nevertheless, this element of performance is not unconditional. It also appears that most of the so-called 'best practice' governance lacks empirical validation and that recommendations designed for an effective governance of large public firms should not be directly translated to the family business context. Herein lays an opportunity for academics to direct further research in this area and to explore these unanswered questions.

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