For better or for worse: The influence of non-family blockholders and non-family directors on strategic renewal in family firms

A paper written by Asma Fattoum, Zied Guedri and Célina Smith


Drawing on the impact of a major economy-wide shock, we investigate the influence of non-family blockholders and non-family directors on strategic renewal in family firms. To date, research has only focused on strategic renewal in family firms during stable economic conditions or when it has been induced by firm-specific or industry-specific factors. Using a sample of 203 French listed firms caught up in the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis, we found that (1) non-family blockholders’ relative voting power and (2) non-family directors’ board representation positively affect strategic renewal in family firms’ response to crisis. This study contributes to corporate entrepreneurship research by attending to the strategic renewal in non-munificent environments post-shock; it adds to work on multiple blockholder structures in family firms by highlighting how differential voting rights facilitates strategic renewal; and finally, it extends research on the role of non-family directors by examining their effects in disruptive contexts of economy-wide shocks.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
12 pm – 1:30 pm
HEC Montréal
Room St-Hubert (first floor, green section)


Asma Fattoum
Copenhagen Business School
Assistant Professor, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Asma Fattoum joined the Department of innovation and organizational economics as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in September 2013. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Lyon and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship from EMLYON Business School. Her research examines the consequences of entrepreneurs’ cognitive biases on venture performance, with a particular focus on the IPO context.

Zied Guedri
Associate Professor, Strategy and Organization

Zied Guedri obtained his Ph.D. in strategic management from Concordia University, Canada. His research focuses on corporate governance and industry competitive dynamics. He received the best paper award from CGIR in 2010. He is also the director of research at the French Institute of Corporate Governance. He teaches strategic management in the Ph.D., MBA and MSc programs.