This paper examines the role of the board of directors in influencing the value of Italian listed firms from 2003 to 2013. In particular, employing agency, stewardship and resource dependence theories, the study aims to compare board characteristics in family and non-family firms and define the theory that best applies to family firms. Empirical results show that the presence of CEO duality and busy directors has a positive effect on the value of family firms, while gender diversity has a negative impact on the value when a member of the family leads a family firm. Conversely, the size of the board positively affects the value of non-family firms. Our main findings suggest the prevalence, in family firms, of the benefits of the board structure argued by stewardship and resource dependence theories rather than the disadvantages expected from agency theory.
- Corporate governance, Board of directors, Firm value, Family control