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Impact of informal institutions on the prevalence, strategy, and performance of family firms: A meta-analysis

Abstract

Family-controlled firms (FCFs)’ prevalence, strategies, and performance differ across countries. We explain these differences through the lens of informal institutions, suggesting that different countries have different levels of appreciation for family business. To capture this effect, we introduce the construct of family business legitimacy (FBL) and an associated index (FBLI). We empirically measure FBLI scores for 83 countries spanning both developed and emerging economies. By combining meta-analytic and archival data, we show that FCFs prevail, follow unique strategies, and outperform non-FCFs in countries with high FBLI scores. As a new contingency variable, FBL advances the literature on the informal institutional embeddedness of organizations and family business.

Résumé

La prédominance, les stratégies et les performances des entreprises familiales (EF) diffèrent d’un pays à l’autre. Nous expliquons ces différences à travers le prisme des institutions informelles, ce qui suggère que les différents pays ont des niveaux d’appréciation différents concernant les entreprises familiales. Pour saisir ce phénomène, nous introduisons le concept de légitimité des entreprises familiales (LEF) et un indice associé (ILEF). Nous mesurons empiriquement les scores ILEF de 83 pays, tant dans les économies développées que dans les économies émergentes. En combinant les données méta-analytiques et les données d’archives, nous montrons que la LEF prévaut, suit des stratégies uniques et surpasse les entreprises non familiales dans les pays ayant des scores ILEF élevés. En tant que nouvelle variable de contingence, la LEF fait progresser la littérature sur l’encastrement institutionnel informel des organisations et des entreprises familiales.

Resumen

La prevalencia, las estrategias y el desempeño de las empresas controladas por familias (FCFs por sus iniciales en inglés) difieren entre los países. Explicamos estas diferencias a través de los lentes de las instituciones informes, y proponemos que países diferentes tienen diferentes niveles de valoración para los negocios familiares. Para capturar este efecto, introducimos el constructo de legitimidad de los negocios familiares (FBL por sus iniciales en inglés) y un índice asociado (FBLI). Medimos empíricamente puntajes de legitimidad de negocios familiares para 83 países abarcando tanto economías desarrolladas y emergentes. Al combinar datos meta-analíticos y de archivo mostramos que las empresas controladas por familias predominan, siguen estrategias únicas y superan las empresas no familiares en países con altos puntajes de legitimidad de los negocios familiares. Como una nueva variable de contingencia, el constructo de legitimidad de los negocios familiares (FBL) avanza las literaturas sobre la integración institucional de las organizaciones y negocios familiares.

Resumo

Prevalência, estratégias e desempenho de empresas controladas por famílias (FCFs) diferem entre os países. Explicamos essas diferenças através da lente de instituições informais, sugerindo que diferentes países têm diferentes níveis de apreço por empresas familiares. Para capturar esse efeito, introduzimos o construto legitimidade de empresa familiar (FBL) e um índice associado (FBLI). Medimos empiricamente as pontuações FBLI para 83 países abrangendo tanto economias desenvolvidas quanto emergentes. Ao combinar dados meta-analíticos e de arquivo, mostramos que FCFs prevalecem, seguem estratégias exclusivas, e superam empresas que não são FCFs em países com altas pontuações de FBLI. Como uma nova variável contingencial, FBL avança as literaturas sobre a inserção institucional informal de organizações e empresas familiares.

摘要

家族控制公司(FCF)的普遍性、策略和绩效在不同国家有所差异。我们通过非正式制度的角度来解释这些差异, 表明不同国家对家族企业的理解程度不同。为了捕获这种影响, 我们介绍了家族企业合法性(FBL)的概念以及相关的索引(FBLI)。我们在实证上衡量了发达经济体和新兴经济体中83个国家的FBLI得分。通过将元分析与存档数据的结合, 我们显示在具有较高FBLI分数的国家中, FCF占优势, 遵循独特的策略, 并且优于非FCF。作为新的意外变量, FBL推进了有关组织和家族企业的非正式制度嵌入的文献。

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Acknowledgements

Patricio Duran acknowledges the support of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University. Pascual Berrone acknowledges the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation PID2019-104679RB-I00, the Schneider-Electric Sustainability and Business Strategy Chair, and the IESE’s High Impact Projects Initiative (2018/2018). Tatiana Kostova acknowledges the support of the University of South Carolina CIBER.

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Berrone, P., Duran, P., Gómez-Mejía, L. et al. Impact of informal institutions on the prevalence, strategy, and performance of family firms: A meta-analysis. J Int Bus Stud (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-020-00362-6

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Keywords

  • family-controlled firms
  • family firm prevalence
  • firm performance
  • informal institutions
  • meta-analysis
  • strategic decisions