Asian Business & Management

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 197–225

An investigation of the role of family ownership, control and management in listed Chinese family firms

Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/abm.2012.40

Cite this article as:
Zhou, J., Tam, O. & Yu, P. Asian Bus Manage (2013) 12: 197. doi:10.1057/abm.2012.40


This study seeks to shed light on two specific governance issues in family firms: First, do control-enhancing mechanisms, often adopted by the controlling family, hurt firm performance? Second, do family managers outperform professional managers? By analyzing a unique and detailed family-firm data set from China, we find that in founder-led firms family members are more inclined to opt for control-enhancing instruments, which harms firm performance. We also find that family managers in general outperform professional managers, especially when the founder serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or remains as Chairman with a relative CEO.


corporate governanceagency problemsfamily firmsChina

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of International Business, Southwestern University of Finance and EconomicsChengduChina
  2. 2.College of Business, RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia