Handbook of Research on Family Business
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Handbook of Research on Family Business

Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein

The Handbook of Research on Family Business provides a comprehensive first port of call for those wishing to survey progress in the theory and practice of family business research. In response to the extensive growth of family business as a topic of academic inquiry, the principal objective of the Handbook is to provide an authoritative and scholarly overview of current thinking in this multidisciplinary field.
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Chapter 25: Family and Cultural Forces: Shaping Entrepreneurship and SME Development in China

David Pistrui, Wilfred V. Huang and Harold P. Welsch


26 Board of directors in Italian public family-controlled companies Guido Corbetta and Alessandro Minichilli This chapter aims to explore the features of the boards of directors in the publicly listed companies of the Italian stock exchange. It analyses the board along its classical three dimensions, that is, the composition, the structure, and the processes. The purpose is to understand if the family companies present specific characteristics with respect to the functioning of corporate boards. The analysis has been conducted over the 114 familycontrolled Italian listed companies, and focused mostly on the independence of the board of directors from the controlling family. Results indicated that in public family-controlled companies the compliance with the code prevails over their family nature in order to explain their board characteristics. Results showed some correlations between the board characteristics and the company stock performance. Nonetheless, no evidence was found that public family-controlled companies have strong specific characteristics descending from the family representation within the board of directors. Research background Few topics like corporate governance and boards of directors found such considerable attention in the past decade (Daily et al., 2003). Some would say that we are experiencing the ‘golden age’ of boards and governance (Huse et al., 2005). A superficial glance suggests that the corporate scandals and bankruptcies worldwide compelled academics and managers to became aware of the relevance of corporate governance. We maintain that this interest comes from other reasons. First, several theoretical developments and fresh ideas widened the meaning of corporate...

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