According to agency theory, impression management is lower in family-owned firms because of reduced agency I conflicts. However, when family owners are present, agency I conflicts are superseded by agency II conflicts between controlling and minority shareholders, leading to a positive association between impression management and family ownership. Moreover, family owners have distinct goals related to the preservation of socioemotional wealth (SEW) that may influence agency conflicts. We formalize these countervailing forces by developing an integrated theoretical framework that considers both agency I and agency II conflicts and how they interact with SEW-related motives. We hypothesize that the coexistence of agency I and agency II conflicts in family-owned firms leads to a U-shaped association between family ownership and impression management. We also expect that this U-shaped association is flatter when family influence on the board is stronger and SEW motives shape more corporate choices. We test our predictions by analyzing the letters to shareholders of 77 Italian-listed firms from 2008 to 2015. The results confirm our expectations and hold when we use instrumental variable estimation, alternative proxies to capture SEW motives, and impression management measures.

Family ownership and impression management: an integrated approach

Imperatore, Claudia;
In corso di stampa

Abstract

According to agency theory, impression management is lower in family-owned firms because of reduced agency I conflicts. However, when family owners are present, agency I conflicts are superseded by agency II conflicts between controlling and minority shareholders, leading to a positive association between impression management and family ownership. Moreover, family owners have distinct goals related to the preservation of socioemotional wealth (SEW) that may influence agency conflicts. We formalize these countervailing forces by developing an integrated theoretical framework that considers both agency I and agency II conflicts and how they interact with SEW-related motives. We hypothesize that the coexistence of agency I and agency II conflicts in family-owned firms leads to a U-shaped association between family ownership and impression management. We also expect that this U-shaped association is flatter when family influence on the board is stronger and SEW motives shape more corporate choices. We test our predictions by analyzing the letters to shareholders of 77 Italian-listed firms from 2008 to 2015. The results confirm our expectations and hold when we use instrumental variable estimation, alternative proxies to capture SEW motives, and impression management measures.
2022
Bozzolan, Saverio; Imperatore, Claudia; Mattei, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4051826
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