Goal Structures in Family Firms: Empirical Evidence on the Relationship between Firm and Family Goals

28 Pages Posted: 29 May 2009 Last revised: 6 Dec 2010

See all articles by Ann‐Kristin Achleitner

Ann‐Kristin Achleitner

Technische Universität München - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies

Carolin Bock

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Reiner Braun

Technische Universität München (TUM) - TUM School of Management

Stephanie Schraml

Technische Universität München - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies

Juliane Welter

Technische Universität München (TUM)

Date Written: May 29, 2009

Abstract

Goal structures in family firms seems of particular interest to the field as the overall orientation and the objectives of family firms are determined in an area of potential conflict between the two subsystems of firm and family. We asked shareholders of German family firms to rate the importance of certain goals in the organization's management. By doing a principal component analysis on the ratings given, we identified four central categories of goals that permit a much more detailed analysis than would a simple differentiation between family-related and firm-related goals. The differences among organizations in the identified dimensions of short-term and long-term family goals, as well as growth- and value-orientated firm goals are then assessed in more detail. Among other aspects, we found the existence of an advisory board to be the strongest driver of goal preferences along these dimensions. Theoretically, our findings indicate that, depending on family firm characteristics, agency and stewardship theory are both useful in explaining the goals of the relevant systems of family and firm.

Keywords: family firms, goal preferences, agency theory, stewardship theory

JEL Classification: L21, L26

Suggested Citation

Achleitner, Ann-Kristin and Bock, Carolin and Braun, Reiner and Schraml, Stephanie and Welter, Juliane, Goal Structures in Family Firms: Empirical Evidence on the Relationship between Firm and Family Goals (May 29, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1411655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1411655

Ann-Kristin Achleitner

Technische Universität München - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, D-80290
Germany
+49 89 289 25181 (Phone)

Carolin Bock

Technische Universität Darmstadt ( email )

Hochschulstr. 1
Darmstadt, 64289
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ent.tu-darmstadt.de

Reiner Braun (Contact Author)

Technische Universität München (TUM) - TUM School of Management ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, Deutschland 80333
Germany
+498928925181 (Phone)
+498928925188 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ef.wi.tum.de/

Stephanie Schraml

Technische Universität München - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, 80333
Germany

Juliane Welter

Technische Universität München (TUM) ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
Munich, 80333
Germany

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