The aim of this study is to investigate whether female leaders are more efficient in family firms than in non-family firms.Design/methodology/approachThis paper uses a unique database of ownership and leadership in private Swedish firms that makes it possible to analyze differences in firm performance due to female leadership in family and non-family firms. The analysis is based on survey data merged with micro-level data on Swedish firms. Only firms with five or more employees are included in the analysis. The sample contains more than 1,000 firms.FindingsThe descriptive statistics show that there are many more male than female corporate leaders. However, the regression analysis indicates that female leadership has a much more positive impact on the performance of family firms than on that for non-family firms, where the effect is ambiguous.Originality/valueComparative studies examining the impact of female leadership on firm-level performance in family and non-family firms are rare, and those that exist are most often either qualitative or focused on large, listed firms. By investigating the role of female directors in family and non-family firms, the study adds to the literature on management, corporate governance and family firms.
Corporate Governance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 21, 2018
Keywords: Gender; Family firms; Corporate governance; Company performance; Financial performance