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 13: Multiple board memberships and the inner circle in family business groups

Behlül Üsdiken and Özlem Yildirim-Öktem


In the chapter we examine what we refer to as multiple board memberships in Turkish family business groups (FBGs). This conceptual differentiation from interlocking directorships depicts how multiple directorates within business groups are distinct in that they are formed not by affiliated firms acting autonomously but rather by a superordinate body at the top and serve mainly as an internal mechanism of governance and control. We also suggest that multiple board memberships in FBGs tend to be concentrated in a small number of individuals, which we refer to as the ‘inner circle’. Our findings demonstrate that boards of firms affiliated to business groups are not, to a very large degree, formed independently of one another. We also show that multiple directorships are not evenly distributed and that an inner circle exists in all FBGs. The chapter concludes with a discussion of theoretical implications, as they pertain not only to FBGs in Turkey but also to those that exist in other late-industrializing countries.

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