This study examines the impact of board decision processes on board task performance in family firms, contingent upon the presence of a family or a non-family CEO. Bridging insights from behavioral research on boards and the upper echelons perspective, it is suggested that influence of board decision processes on performance benefits from different aspects of CEO attributes. To the extent that family and non-family CEOs exhibit different cognitive frames, it is hypothesized that board processes contribute differently to board task performance, depending on whether a family or a non-family CEO is at the helm. An empirical analysis of a sample of Italian family firms provides support for two hypothesized effects: Use of knowledge and skills is more beneficial for board task performance under a non-family CEO; cognitive conflict is more beneficial under a family CEO. Contrary to expectations, the effects of effort norms do not differ between the two settings. This study contributes to research on both boards and family firms; new opportunities for advancements are discussed.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 27, 2016
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