Family Firms and Institutional Contexts
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Family Firms and Institutional Contexts

Business Models, Innovation and Competitive Advantage

Edited by Giorgia M. D’Allura, Andrea Colli and Sanjay Goel

Featuring in-depth analysis of original research, this innovative book takes an interdisciplinary, cross-national approach to the study of family firms as institutions as well as the relationship between family firms and external institutions. It demonstrates the impact of these interactions both on the firms and institutions themselves and in the wider economic context, and provides important conceptual insights as well as ideas for future research agendas.
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Chapter 7: Cultural variables as conceptual moderators in the family involvement-performance relationship: a meta-analytic regression analysis

Bice Della Piana, Rosalia Santulli and Carmen Gallucci


The effect of family involvement in ownership and management on firms’ economic and financial performance is a widely debated and controversial issue in the family business research field. Because a substantial heterogeneity can be found in family firms across countries, a more compelling explanation, based on institutional theory, of the effects of family involvement on firms’ economic and financial performance might be provided by considering the institutional environment as moderating variable. In entering this debate, we focus our attention on cultural contexts as informal components of the institutional environment, offering an undervalued opportunity for family business scholars to enter mainstream discourses in cross-cultural perspective applied to management research. With the aim of understanding whether and how family firms’ economic and financial performance is influenced by cultural dimensions, we apply a meta-analytic regression analysis on 54 primary studies conducted in 19 national settings. In order to catch the effect of the cultural contexts, we consider the nine cultural dimensions derived from the cultural framework proposed by the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) project. Our main results suggest that two cultural dimensions (future orientation and humane orientation) negatively moderate the relationship between family involvement and economic and financial performance and one (gender egalitarianism) has a positive moderating effect.

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