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Boards in Family Firms: Board Member Choices and Recruitment
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The focus of this paper is to explore the recruitment process for board members, and board member choices in family firms in Sweden. It was found that the board member re- cruitment process is a field with low amount of research. This is the main argument upon the construction of this study. Previous research also argue that most family businesses are small, which increase the likelihood of finding firms without an active board, or with low professionalism in the board.

Through a case study, four Swedish family firms were interviewed in order to identify the board composition, board governance and board recruitment process at these firms. The firms represent different sizes, sectors, and stages of growth, being a small company with two employees and SEK 1.7m annual revenue, to a large company with 1200 employees and SEK 8bn annual revenue. These companies were then analysed through both the agency theory, and the stewardship theory, using previous research as foundation and sup- port.

The findings show that the most desired board member characteristic are knowledge within the sector the firm is operating in, as well as trustworthiness. All of the interviewed com- panies saw their board as more of a function to advise the family, rather than to monitor the managers, and having extensive knowledge from the sector is of relevance when giving advice. The members of these boards were recruited using the networks of the CEO, or us- ing consultancy firms to help finding potential members. Lack of trust was identified as a potential issue in board member recruitment, as the member will gain access to valuable in- formation. This led to the obstacle of letting external members in on the board. This ob- stacle, however, is recommended to be overseen as all CEO’s that were interviewed em- phasized the benefits of recruiting external members to the board, arguing that the benefits of having external members in the board outweighs the potential costs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
Family firms, Board Composition, Board Governance, Board Recruitment Process, Board of Directors
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-23886OAI: diva2:719850
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
2014-05-20, B3008 - JIBS, Gjuterigatan 5, Jönköping, 11:00 (English)
Available from: 2014-06-13 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2014-06-13Bibliographically approved

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