Board of directors in Norwegian family businesses: results from the value creating board surveys
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- Research Reports 
This is one of several research reports written within the research program “The Value Creating Board”. The program is conducted at BI Norwegian School of Management and can be described by the following key words: boards, value creation, small and medium-sized firms, and actual board behavior. The research program contributes to increase our knowledge about corporate governance, but the focus of the research program is boards of directors. The value creating concept is also wider than just value creation for the shareowners. Our point of departure is that a firm has other objectives and obligations than just to serve the shareowners. Innovation, corporate social responsibility and long-termism are concepts being parts of our value creation understanding. In the research program we want to increase the knowledge of boards of directors, and within issues relating to boards we have focused on two separate, but overlapping topics. The first is boards in small and medium sized enterprises, including boards in family firms. The other is actual board behavior and behavioral perspectives on boards and governance. The research program is funded by the PULS program of the Norwegian Research Council together with Center for Cooperative Research at BI, DnB Invest (DnBNor), Innovation Norway, NHO-Conferation of Norwegian Enterprise, Odin, Oslo Stock Exchange, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Vital Insurance. The program has a core group of scholars affiliated with the Department of Innovation and Economic Organization at BI Norwegian School of Management, but we also have close ties with colleagues at other departments and other universities. Some of the research projects are conducted and published together with them. We have for example close cooperation about projects with colleagues in Sweden, in the Netherlands and in Italy. This report on family businesses leans on such cooperation and in particular from the input from Luca Gnan and Daniela Montemerlo from Bocconi University in Milan. This is the third research report that present results from collected survey data about Norwegian boards. The first report (written in Norwegian) was called “The innovation survey” (published in April 2004) . The second report (also written in Norwegian) was called “Description of Norwegian boards” (published in February 2005). The fourth report is not from the collected survey data, but based on one qualitative case study. Various publications from the research program are listed at the end of the present report. The present research report is about boards in family businesses. Family business governance is a theme we have found increasingly interesting and important. Family business research is thus a topic we have given increasing priority within the research program. We have therefore also got involved in various family business research networks as International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) and Family Business Network (FBN). We have also presented various scientific articles on family business governance at research conferences as the Academy of Management, European Group on Organisation Studies (EGOS) and European Academy of Management (EURAM). In this report we make comparisons across firm sizes, and between family businesses and other firms. A family business is not a clear concept, and various family business definitions exist. We have thus also decided to show how our findings vary across various family business definitions. We decided to write this report in English as the previous reports have been written in Norwegian. We have needed a report that can help us communicate our descriptive findings to colleagues that do not read Norwegian.