CCGR Information hub

Family firms

What is special about family firms?

Family-owned firms are the oldest and most prevalent type of business in the world. 

The special aspect of a family firm is that it is owned, and also often managed, by a group of people with strong pre-existing and ongoing personal (family) relationships. These social ties may have both advantages and disadvantages in relation to running a business. 

Research on family firms fundamentally asks the question of whether the integration of production and personal ties matters for corporate governance and firm performance. Companies are governed in accordance with the preferences of their owners and managers and governance may differ in family firms because family owners pursue other objectives than the maximization of profits. For example, they are often believed to have a longer horizon than non-family owners and to prioritize passing the firm on to the next generation. Family owners are also often believed to manage the business with the aim of preserving the family's control of it. Research-based evidence can help us understand to what extent such beliefs have merit.

Person pointing to documents

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Basic facts about family firms

Family-ownership is the most prevalent way of organizing private enterprise in Norway. 70% of Norwegian companies are controlled by families in the sense that one family owns 50 percent or more of the firm’s equity. Read more

Father and son in suits reading newspaper with the headline "Business"

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Intergenerational ownership and CEO transition

Changes in the management of a family business can be a contentious and risky affaire. Successors often have big shoes to fill and the weight of the family’s future success on their shoulders. Read more

Illustration: money, numbers and graphs

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Wealth tax

Does the taxation of wealth have repurcussions on companies? Read more
 

Man in suit ready to run

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Profitability and performance of family firms

Norwegian family-owned firms generally outperform nonfamily-owned firms. Similar results have been documentet i multiple other countries. Read more

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Governance of family firms

Families are usually deeply involved with the family firm: besides being owners of the firm, they are also often represented on the board of directors and in the management team of the firm. Read more

Illustration: man and woman on a mountain pulling a rope between them
Illustration: man and woman on a mountain pulling a rope between them

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Conflicts in family firms

Information to be added.