Governance in Hungarian family businesses

  • Attila Wieszt Corvinus University of Budapest
Keywords: governance structure, family business, family business governance, family governance, Hungary


Aim: A large-scale, exploratory survey had been conducted on the whole population of family businesses in Hungary in 2017/18 concentrating on the heterogeneity of the family business population. This paper presents the findings of this survey focusing only on the governance practices of the Hungarian family businesses.

Design / Research methods: Two questionnaires were asked from a sample of Hungarian family businesses in the form of a computer-assisted phone interview. This sample is based on probability sampling of a larger database representative to the Hungarian population of business organization in terms of annual revenue, geographical location and industry. Questions were formulated considering models of family involvement, socio-emotional wealth, succession, governance, and professionalization.

Conclusions/findings: Hungarian family businesses succeed in involving a growing number of family members into the company which also positively relates to the business performance of the firms. The developmental patterns of their governance practices reflect their increasing level of professionalization.

However, they can hardly involve external, non-family professionals into the Top Management Team, which may be crucial especially for the further growth of medium-sized firms. Their family governance concentrates rather on operatively bridging family and company, and not on planning the maintenance of long-term family control.

Originality/value of the article: The paper delivers both informations on the heterogeneity of the Hungarian family businesses from a governance-related point of view, and show direct, practical implications regarding the family business governance system. Its results can be of interest both for family business owners, researchers, and consultants.

Author Biography

Attila Wieszt, Corvinus University of Budapest
Research Fellow, Center of Family Business, Institute of Management


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