Founding family firms, CEO incentive pay, and dual agency problems

Mazur, M. and Wu, B. H.-T. (2016) Founding family firms, CEO incentive pay, and dual agency problems. Journal of Small Business Management, 54(4), pp. 1099-1125. (doi: 10.1111/jsbm.12237)

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This paper contributes to the literature on agency theory by examining relations between family involvement and CEO compensation. Using a panel of 362 small U.S. listed firms, we analyze how founding families influence firm performance through option portfolio price sensitivity. Consistent with the dual agency framework, we find that family firms have lower CEO incentive pay, which is further reduced by higher executive ownership. Interestingly, such incentive pay offsets the positive impact that families have on firm valuation. Collectively, our results show that, compared with nonfamily firms, lower incentive pay adopted by family firms due to lower agency costs mitigates the direct effect of family involvement on firm performance. Once accounting for CEO incentive pay, we do not observe performance differences between family and nonfamily firms.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wu, Dr Betty
Authors: Mazur, M., and Wu, B. H.-T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Journal of Small Business Management
ISSN (Online):1540-627X
Published Online:16 February 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Small Business Management 54(4):1099-1125
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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