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The Characteristics of Family Firms: Exploiting Information on Ownership, Kinship and Governance Using Total Population Data
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. SCB, Stockholm, Sweden. (Företagandet och företagens villkor)
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. HUI Research, Stockholm, Sweden. (Företagandet och företagandets villkor)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5610-8526
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (Företagandet och företagens villkor)
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. Ratio, Stockholm, Sweden. (Företagandet och företagens villkor)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0149-9598
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2018 (English)In: Small Business Economics, ISSN 0921-898X, E-ISSN 1573-0913, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 539-556Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Family firms are often considered characteristically different from non-family firms. However, our understanding of family firms suffers from an inability to identify them in total population data; information is rarely available regarding owners, their kinship, and their involvement in firm governance. We present a method for identifying domiciled family firms using register data; this method offers greater accuracy than previous methods. We apply this method to Swedish data concerning firm ownership, governance, and kinship from 2004 to 2010. We find that the family firm is a significant organizational form, contributing over one third of all employment and gross domestic product (GDP). Family firms are common in most industries and range in size. Furthermore, we find that, compared to private non-family firms, family firms have fewer total assets, employment, and sales and carry higher solidity, although family firms are more profitable. These differences diminish with firm size. We conclude that the term “family firm” includes a large variety of firms, and we call for increased attention to their heterogeneity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers , 2018. Vol. 51, no 3, p. 539-556
Keywords [en]
Entrepreneur, Family firms, Employment, GDP, Register data
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61172DOI: 10.1007/s11187-017-9947-6ISI: 000443439100003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85030325971OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61172DiVA, id: diva2:1145142
Projects
Familjeföretagandets betydelse
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationSwedish Agency for Economic and Regional GrowthAvailable from: 2017-09-28 Created: 2017-09-28 Last updated: 2018-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, FredrikJohansson, DanKarlsson, JohanLodefalk, MagnusPoldahl, Andreas

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Örebro University School of Business
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