Governance in Small Family Firms: Laying the Groundwork in a Swedish Study
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The governance field is well studied. However, small family firms do not receive their fair amount of coverage, despite their importance. In this work the field of governance in small family firms is qualitatively explored, using a sample of eight Swedish firms with a total of ten interview partners. Using a Constructivist Grounded Theory, informed by previous literature, we find nine key themes characterizing governance in small family firms: (1) Ownership & Board, (2) Holding Company, (3) Advisor & External Help, (4) Responsibility, (5) Formality, (6) Informality, (7) Conflict, (8) Succession and (9) Discussion & Conversation. Our findings suggest that all small family businesses employ some form of governance, however, this is not always recognized as such in previous literature, showing that corporate governance is too narrowly defined. We also investigate why governance structures are (not) implemented and how this is done. In connection to this, we visualize the factors influencing whether or not a small family firm implements formal governance structures. Additionally, we discuss what actually makes a family firm small. We contribute by investigating governance concepts in another context, namely the one of small family businesses, and seeing to what extent they hold up. The work allows us to conclude that some findings confirm existing theory, while others question it or cannot be found therein at all.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 64 p.
small family firm, governance, structures, micro firm, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30233ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160288OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-30233DiVA: diva2:933304
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration