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Impact of COVID-19 on family business performance: evidence from listed companies in Germany

Markus Eckey (Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt, Germany)
Sebastian Memmel (Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt, Germany)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Article publication date: 10 June 2022

Issue publication date: 24 August 2023




The COVID-19 pandemic has hit different industries and firms with widely differing degrees of severity. The authors investigate whether ownership structure (family vs non-family) might represent a differentiating factor. The article's purpose is to conduct an initial, descriptive analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on different stock and operating performance measures of listed German companies.


The authors use a sample of 299 listed companies in Germany and gathered operating as well as stock market performance data following the outbreak of COVID-19. For the purpose of this paper, the authors solely focus on static and descriptive observations thus far. The intention of this paper is to describe potential implications for more differentiated, especially multivariate causal research, on family businesses in a post-COVID world.


The results indicate that, over the last five years, stock returns of family businesses have been higher than those of non-family firms. This effect seems to have been more pronounced during the first month following the COVID-19 outbreak. When applying operating measures, the outperformance becomes even more evident. The findings therefore seem to support the hypothesis proffered in the literature that family involvement enhances the potential for resilience in such firms.


Scholars on COVID-19 crisis performance have begun to explore firm-level factors related to financial and organizational factors, industry characteristics and country-level factors. The research extends this line of inquiry by probing the importance of family involvement in ownership.



Eckey, M. and Memmel, S. (2023), "Impact of COVID-19 on family business performance: evidence from listed companies in Germany", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 780-797.



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