When Do Non‐Family CEOS Outperform in Family Firms? Agency and Behavioural Agency Perspectives

26 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2014

See all articles by Danny Miller

Danny Miller

HEC Montreal

Isabelle Le Breton-Miller

HEC Montreal - Department of Management

Alessandro Minichilli

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Guido Corbetta

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Daniel Pittino

Università degli Studi di Udine - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

Family firms represent a globally dominant form of organization, yet they confront a steep challenge of finding and managing competent leaders. Sometimes, these leaders cannot be found within the owning family. To date we know little about the governance contexts under which non‐family leaders thrive or founder. Guided by concepts from agency theory and behavioural agency theory, we examine the conditions of ownership and leadership that promote superior performance among non‐family CEOs of family firms. Our analysis of 893 Italian family firms demonstrates that these leaders outperform when they are monitored by multiple major family owners as opposed to a single owner; they also outperform when they are not required to share power with co‐CEOs who are family members, and who may be motivated by parochial family socioemotional priorities.

Keywords: co‐leadership, family firms, non‐family CEOs, ownership structure

Suggested Citation

Miller, Danny and Le Breton-Miller, Isabelle and Minichilli, Alessandro and Corbetta, Guido and Pittino, Daniel, When Do Non‐Family CEOS Outperform in Family Firms? Agency and Behavioural Agency Perspectives (June 2014). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 51, Issue 4, pp. 547-572, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2425011 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12076

Danny Miller (Contact Author)

HEC Montreal ( email )

3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montreal, Quebec H2X 2L3 H3T 2A7
Canada

Isabelle Le Breton-Miller

HEC Montreal - Department of Management ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 2A7
Canada
15143407315 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hec.ca/profs/isabelle.le-breton.html

Alessandro Minichilli

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Guido Corbetta

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Daniel Pittino

Università degli Studi di Udine - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Tomadini 30
33100 Udine
Italy

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