Research Handbook on Boards of Directors
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Research Handbook on Boards of Directors

Edited by Jonas Gabrielsson, Wafa Khlif and Sibel Yamak

Boards of directors are complex systems, and it is imperative to understand what the contextual forces are that shape the direction and make-up of boards. This Research Handbook provides inspiration for researchers and practitioners interested in the manifold dimensions and facets of context surrounding boards of directors.
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Chapter 8: Analysing the board of directors in family firms: an integrated framework for future research directions

Alessandro Cirillo and Donata Mussolino


This chapter aims to provide a wide overview of the board of directors in family firms, showing the progress in the academic literature over the last three decades. The chapter starts with a discussion of the roles attributed to boards of directors in family businesses. It also offers an overview of the so-called input–output model that has dominated the last few decades of research, and provides reflections on board composition; the relationship between board independence and performance; the association between composition and strategic outcomes; family ties and duality of CEOs; combined effects of CEO characteristics; and the relationship between board of directors/CEO characteristics and non-financial outputs. The chapter also integrates behavioral aspects of board functioning, opening the “black box” of the relationship between structural characteristics (input) and firm outcomes (output). Finally, it completes the input–process–output model with another conceptual element, the antecedents of boards of directors.

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