Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel
Chapter 6: Family governance bodies: a conceptual typology
Achieving continuity of a family business is extremely challenging, particularly when the number of family members and owners increases. On the one hand, an expanded number of owners and family members widens the pool of talent available and extends the resource base of the firm (Barney, 1991; Habbershon and Williams, 1999; Bubolz, 2001; Sirmon and Hitt, 2003; Arregle et al., 2007), thus reducing the need to attract capabilities such as managerial or financial talent from outside the family, while simultaneously strengthening internal family resources and bonds (Sirmon and Hitt, 2003). However, expanding the number of owners and family members also increases complexity, especially in the number of roles played by family members. The three-circle model (Davis, 1982; Tagiuri and Davis,  1996) suggests that family members can engage in one of seven sectors formed by the overlapping of the family, business and ownership systems; for instance, family members may be directors, executive officers as well as owners. This complexity signals the potential for conflicts to emerge, in particular, between non-managerial/director family owners and manager/director family owners (Schulze et al., 2003; Ng, 2005), as numbers and skills minimize the opportunity for all family owners to be involved in the firm beyond participating in an annual general meeting (AGM) (Vilaseca, 2002).
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