Actionnariat familial et structure de gouvernance – IFERA 2009

Authors often apprehend the relationship between the family and the firm in a restrictive way. The challenge is to measure the extent to which the presence of a family in its shareholding structure and/or management influences the firm. Our contribution proposes to go in a different direction. According to Gilding (Gilding 2000), we think that we can’t understand the governance of family firms without understanding the evolution of its basic institution: the family. Beyond this, we suggest that the evolution of family firm might have repercussions on family, especially in terms of governance. To do so, we mobilize Todd’s family structures framework (Todd 1990). This framework might be used to better understand the corporate governance institutions of family businesses and the way the dynamics of the firm might have an influence on family. To do so we first highlight some features of the literature about the family influence on firm, especially regarding family business governance, then we present the Todd’s framework of family structures. In the second part of our paper, we focus on the way business – the family firm – might influence and change the family, especially regarding its governance. This leads us to make propositions that should be tested in order to validate our research design. Finally, we conclude by putting forward a model of co-determination between the family and the firm in which firm governance and family governance are interrelated and considered in a dynamics perspective.