August 2, 2013

Family businesses function better than bigger companies, claims study

New research suggests that family businesses are much better equipped for survival than big businesses due to their often superior board of directors, reports

Combining data from 700,000 medium and large private family and non-family firms, a study from business schools at Imperial College, Leeds University and Durham University found that family businesses have a habit of being able to find the right directors by looking for specific skills.

"They are looking at longer-term skills, better contacts and more experience, which are all essential to get businesses through difficult times," explained Professor Mark Wright, of Imperial College Business School.

Professor Wright said the need to look carefully at the board of directors is always important to the running of an organisation and that family businesses tend to analyse the suitability of their company heads in forensic detail.

According to the study, family businesses are also more likely to scrutinise the appointment of a director as they're looking to find someone capable of preserving the company in the long term.

As reported by, the study also said that due to their close attachment to what they've built, family businesses usually have longer-term objectives when meeting with candidates.

In addition, the research said the emphasis that family businesses put on preserving unity, wealth and employing family members further aids their chances of survival.

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