This paper aims to investigate the co-evolve relationship between informal relational governance (i.e. family involvement and personal authority) and family formal governance system in the process of growth and transformation. This co-evolve relationship is especially affected by the external institutional environment and market competition power. Thus, in the comprehensive process of deepening the reform and changing market, the modern transformation of family business means that rediscovery of unique superiority of family business and the core of this transformation is the governance of status privileges and private interests.Design/methodology/approachTo test the hypotheses, this paper uses the 9th Chinese Private Enterprise Survey in 2010. A total of 4,900 questionnaires are issued, 4,614 are recovered and the total recovery rate is 94.16%. After clean the data, the study obtained 1,239 samples. To overcome the possible existence of heteroscedasticity, this study uses the feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) to estimate the model. Besides, as for dummy dependent variables, this study uses logistics regression.FindingsThis paper makes an empirical test for the evolution of family governance driven by institutional change and organizational growth willingness in the process of growth and transformation, including a co-evolve relationship between family involvement and governance institution. Meanwhile, the empirical analysis comes to the conclusion that the institutional constraint to relational governance improves firm performance, which further promotes the modern transformation of family business governance.Practical implicationsIt is the key to transformation to the modern corporate organization that family business could beyond the intervention of the traditional nepotism, patriarchal authority and family will. The fundamental of this process is to take advantage of formal institutions to manage family power.Originality/valueThis paper discusses the modern transformation of the formal organization from the perspective of modern ideal dominant type proposed by Max Weber. Modern organization is a hybrid system of the non-personified and personified institution. The primary reason why modern organization suffered erosion and destruction is that informal institution (status and relationship network) were endowed with legal privileges and private interests in modern organization including family business. The governance of privileges and private interests has become the core issue that whether the family business could play an instrumental value and realize modern transformation successfully.
Nankai Business Review International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 9, 2021
Keywords: Co-Evolve; Family governance institution; Informal governance; Modern transformation