Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein
Chapter 25: Family and Cultural Forces: Shaping Entrepreneurship and SME Development in China
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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