Bammens, Y.P.M., Voordeckers, W. & Gils, A.E.J. van (2011). Boards of directors in family businesses: A literature review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(2), 134-152.
This paper offers a review of the theoretical and empirical literature addressing boards of directors within the unique organizational setting of family businesses. By reviewing and structuring past research, this paper aims to improve the understanding of how family involvement in firms affects the roles and behaviours of boards. The review of the literature is structured according to the family business board’s two primary tasks as an internal administrative body, namely the exercise of control and the provision of advice. For both board tasks, theoretical perspectives and the match between theory and empirical findings will be discussed. The review concludes by offering an integrative discussion of the relevant theories and by highlighting the need for multi-theoretic, process and contextualized approaches in future research on boards of directors in family businesses.
Bammens, Y., Voordeckers, W., Van Gils, A., 2008. Boards of directors in family firms: a generational perspective. Small Business Economics, vol. 31, pp. 163-180.
The purpose of this study is to advance the understanding of boards of directors in family firms. Building on generational changes in family attributes, we argue that firms in a different generational phase have different governance needs and characteristics. With regard to board task needs, the empirical results indicate a convex generational evolution in the need for board advice, and a rise over the generations in the need for board control. With regard to board composition, we find that the likelihood of having an outside director on the board has a convex generational trend. This relationship seems to be fully mediated by the firm’s board task needs. Furthermore, the number of family directors seems to increase over the generations. This study demonstrates that it is important to consider the generational phase of the family firm in order to understand its governance system.