Managerial behaviour of small and medium‐sized family businesses: an empirical study

Domingo García Pérez de Lema (Department of Accounting and Finance, Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Facultad de CC. de la Empresa, Cartagena, Spain)
Antonio Duréndez (Department of Accounting and Finance, Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Facultad de CC. de la Empresa, Cartagena, Spain)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Publication date: 1 May 2007

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study is to test the main differences between private small/medium‐sized family businesses and non‐family businesses with regard to management variables such as: strategy, strategic planning, manager's training and professionalism and financial techniques implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

In this empirical research, we use a sample of 639 small and medium‐sized industrial firms, distributed in 456 family and 183 non‐family firms, with the intention of determining whether family SMEs possess specific structural characteristics distinct from non‐family ones. The data collection technique used was a questionnaire obtained from a postal survey, and addressed to the manager of the company.

Findings

Results show that managers of family firms use some management tools such as management accounting systems and cash budgets for the decision making process and also give less importance to strategic planning and personnel training programmes as a competitiveness factor.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for additional research because the findings indicate that there are different managerial behaviours between family and non‐family firms, but we need to corroborate and look for the basis of such differences, in order to address what the advantages and disadvantages of family firms are.

Practical implications

The results lead us to support the need for family firms to focus on “management development”, which should be understood as the general enhancement and growth of management skills through a learning process.

Originality/value

The paper contributes with new empirical evidence about the management function in family businesses. It is also expected that the results of the study help policy makers to make further efforts facilitating the progress of family firms, knowing they are the real engine driving and contributing to welfare of developed economies.

Keywords

Citation

Domingo García Pérez de Lema and Antonio Duréndez (2007) "Managerial behaviour of small and medium‐sized family businesses: an empirical study", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 151-172

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/13552550710751030

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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