Management control mechanisms and stewardship in family firms: an analysis of antecedents and consequences

Date: 6 February 2018

Venue: University of São Paulo, Faculty of Economics, Business and Accounting - Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto 908 - SP 05508-010 São Paulo, Brazil

Time: - 1:00 PM

PhD candidate: Daniel Magalhães Mucci

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Fabio Frezatti (University of São Paulo), Prof. dr. Ann Jorissen

Short description: PhD defence Daniel Magalhães Mucci - Faculty of Applied Economics


This dissertation aims to enhance the understanding of stewardship in family firms by studying its antecedents related to the controlling family’s ability and willingness to influence the firm, management control mechanisms design and procedural justice and its consequences regarding its moderating effect on the relationship between family involvement and performance. To test these relationships in an empirical way, we developed a survey and selected data from medium and large Brazilian family firms. We applied Structural Equation Modeling (SmartPLS) as the main data analysis method to test our hypotheses.

This dissertation is divided in three main studies.

  • The first study explores the heterogeneity among family businesses, by considering the influence of a family’s ability and willingness on the design of formal and participative management control mechanisms. Our findings provide more insights about the adoption of participative and formal management control mechanisms in family firms and how a family’s willingness to influence the firm creates different adoption patterns. We also demonstrate that different SEW intentions must be treated separately since each sub-dimension influences the design of management control mechanisms in the family business in a different way.
  • The second study investigates whether management control mechanisms such as goal setting and performance evaluation often installed to curb manager’s opportunistic behavior, stimulate stewardship in family firms. Our results provide evidence that goal setting and performance evaluation, usually studied as agency mechanisms can foster stewardship in the family firm if they are designed based on the fairness principles.
  • Finally, the third study examines whether a stewardship-oriented culture moderates the association between family involvement and family firm performance. We reveal that the relationship between familiness and family firm performance is moderated by a stewardship-oriented culture, indicating patterns that lead to a higher financial performance.