The Impact of Family Assets on Corporate Structures and Outcomes

FAMBUSS was funded with support in 5 years from The Danish National Research Foundation in 2017.

Ownermanaged and family enterprises are the most common types of corporations in the world and differ significantly from non-family enterprises in organizational form, firm dynamics and corporate performance.

While there is a growing understanding of the importance of the differential performance between family and non-family businesses, there is still little systematic knowledge about why family firms are different. For example, what is the relationship between family contributions and innovation? Does a family firm have a different internal organization? Is there a link between family values and leadership style? These are major research questions that have the potential to change our understanding of and improve performance and growth for the most typical firm in the world.

This project headed by Niels Bohr Professor Morten Bennedsen, is the first to develop a systematic approach to identify and measure a broad set of family assets. Examples of family assets include the family name and legacy, the business-, family- and political networks, or the family- and cultural values.

Through developing survey and register based methods, the aim is to systematically quantify family assets in a large set of approximately 20.000 firms and link this data to firm and family level data.

The novel data will provide opportunities to answer many new research questions, including:

1) The link between family assets and innovation. This will be the first systematic empirical study of how family assets impact innovation.

2) The link between family assets and implicit labor contracts which will provide novel insights into the internal organization and labor incentives in owner managed firms.

3) The link between family assets and leadership and outcome in firms. This will be the first systematic study based on large scale data of how personal and family values affect leadership style and its impact on organizational structure and outcome.

4) The link between family assets and mergers and acquisitions.

Read also the introduction to this Niels Bohr Professorship in the Annual Report from The Danish National ResearchFoundation.

Read about related research projects in the FAMBUSS group

The FAMBUSS team