The Family's Financial Conscious - Exploring the Role of Non-Family CFOs in Family Businesses
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Annual Conference for Management Accounting Research (ACMAR) 2012
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Family businesses (FBs) form the overwhelming majority of businesses in developed countries worldwide. One of the specific challenges FBs face is attracting and retaining qualified non-family management personnel, which becomes necessary when not enough family members can or want to actively work in the FB. The prevalent management position for which FB owners first choose to include non-family managers is the position of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Therefore, non-family CFOs can play an important role in helping professionalize the FB or navigate it through times of financial distress.
Despite the potential importance of non-family CFOs for FBs, there has not yet evolved a clear picture of this role. Thus, this paper seeks to analyze the specific role of non-family CFOs in FBs and compare this to the role of CFOs in non-family businesses (NFBs). Using a multiple case study approach and social role theory as the theoretical backdrop, 20 qualitative interviews with CFOs, supervisory board members and CEOs were carried out, transcribed and analyzed using the inductive coding approach.
The findings suggest that there are three types of CFOs in FBs, which differ from each other in terms of hierarchical position, integration in strategic planning and company-wide projects, role behavior and the size of the CFO?s department. In NFBs, CFOs were found to generally play a more agile role, which resembles only the most powerful CFO types in FBs.