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Corporate governance rating of family firms at the Athens exchange market

Loukas J. Spanos , Lena J. Tsipouri and Manolis D. Xanthakis (Department of Economics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




Corporate governance (CG) has mainly focused on highly dispersed corporations. This paper has two objectives: to enrich the debate in this area and to contribute to the increasing body of literature by exploring the CG of the listed family firms in Greece; and to place the CG practices of Greek family firms within the international debate, especially in the framework of a small open capital market. In addition, this paper presents an attempt to quantify the compliance of family firms with international best practices.


The methodology consisted of the creation of a questionnaire reflecting the Greek CG code and other well‐regarded CG codes, like the OECD principles. The authors constructed a CG rating system and applied it to distinguish family from non‐family firms.


The main conclusion is that the family firms lack an efficient CG mechanism and they demonstrated poor governance compared with non‐family firms.

Practical implications

The results disclose the potential strengths and weaknesses of the existing CG framework of the family‐owned firms. The methodology applies in a small open economy and may have significant implications in other similar capital markets.


Methodologically, the merit of the exercise lies in its approach toward the creation of “collectively subjective” weightings, and is valuable to policymakers and academics.



Spanos, L.J., Tsipouri, L.J. and Xanthakis, M.D. (2008), "Corporate governance rating of family firms at the Athens exchange market", Managerial Finance, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 465-478.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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