Trento, Sandro (2008) L'impresa famigliare: un reperto di antiquariato o una specificità istituzionale? UNSPECIFIED.
According to Alfred Chandler, family firms were a model of corporate governance obsolete and to be progressively replaced by the modern large managerial corporation. The persistence of family capitalism in Britain was an obstacle to the second industrial revolution and a main reason for the British industrial decline during most of the XX century. Today, however, family firms are a type of control widespread in most countries of the world. The large managerial corporation with dispersed ownership, on the contrary, is significantly present only in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Family firm belongs to the more general case of concentrated ownership. The different model of corporate control that evolved in the various systems were strongly influenced by the institutional environment typical of each country and at the moment there is no evidence that family firms are a species risking extinction. The diffusion of family firms may be explained by efficiency reasons and cultural factors. There has been a recent increasing interest in the relative performance of family firms that seem to have superior results with respect to non family firms. The direct involvement of family members in the management of the firm and the presence of the founder seem to be relevant on the performance. In Italy family ownership is the most frequent model of control.
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