Independent directors and family firm performance: does one size fit all?

  • Georges Samara
  • Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent


How will the presence of independent directors affect family business performance? This question is still theoretically debated and empirically inconclusive. Because family businesses are a group of heterogeneous companies with different levels of family involvement in the business, the purpose of this paper is to empirically explore how the combination of different family business governance structures jointly shape the effect of independent directors on family business performance in an understudied Collectivist cultural setting. Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) on a sample of 74 Lebanese family firms this study finds that, depending on the family firm governance structure, the presence of independent directors on the board can lead to either positive or negative firm performance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Collectivism Corporate governance Family Business heterogeneity Independent directors Performance 



The authors are grateful for the valuable contributions of the participants of the 6th Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research Conference.

This research is supported by the Generalitat de Cataluña (SUR of the DEC) and by the European Social Fund through the research grant 2016FI_B 00335 given to Georges Samara.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Strategy and General ManagementESADE Business SchoolC/LlaceresSpain
  2. 2.Department of Economy and Business OrganisationUniversitat Internacional de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

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