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10th Workshop on family firm management research innovation, family firms and economic development chairpersons

TITOLO RELAZIONE: Control needs in Italian privately held family firms
Patrizia Riva
EIASM, Università degli studi di Bergamo, CYFE - 2014-05

In the accounting branch of business studies, growing attention has been devoted to the issues of corporate
governance. Yet, the meaning of corporate governance itself should be interpreted differently in the
specific context of “family” firms, whereas – for instance – the independent controls performed by
independent bodies (for instance: the Audit Committee and the independent directors), developed under a
model of separation between property and management, may reduce their appeal – since typically the
main shareholders already manage and control the operations of the firms. In a broader perspective,
though, as previous research as shown, this paper confirms that the need of professional controls /
supervision over family firms is all the more relevant given the specific agency problems that family firms
face and the importance of other stakeholders different from the owners.