Cuadernos de Administración
Print version ISSN 0120-3592
GONZALEZ FERRERO, Maximiliano; GUZMAN VASQUEZ, Alexander; POMBO BEJARANO, Carlos and TRUJILLO DAVILA, María Andrea. Family businesses: a literature review from an agency perspective. Cuad. Adm. [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.40, pp. 11-33. ISSN 0120-3592.
This article presents a comprehensive review of the financial literature consisting of the main studies on family businesses. Focusing on the agency theory, the review describes the main agency problems that arise between managers and owners, between managers and debt holders, and between majority and minority shareholders in a family ownership structure. Three decades of family business articles published in the main financial journals are reviewed. This look at the literature on the topic evidences a field of research that is incipient, little explored in Latin America, for which empirical comparison and contrasting is necessary in order to understand the family ownership structure worldwide. The article ends by proposing a family business research agenda including topics such as financial performance, the role of the heirs, debt structure, the composition of the board of directors, the impact of agency costs on capital costs, and private control benefits.
Keywords : family businesses; agency problems; corporate governance.