The Goals of Polish Family Firms

Jerzy Węcławski, Helmut Pernsteiner


This article investigates the differences in management goals between family owned and non-family owned firms in Poland. The aim is to understand whether there are general differences in between the two types of firms, along with differences in age, the internationalisation grade and the turnover of the firms. We used questionnaire-based interviews (computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) and computer-assisted web interview (CAWI) techniques) to create a sample of 758 Polish firms that employed more than 49 people. Using the substantial family influence index put forward by Klein (2010, p. 17), we identified 396 firms as being family firms, with the rest being non-family firms. Nine goals were presented to representatives of these firms (owners, chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs)) who were then asked to sort them into four groups. The estimation of the empirical data was conducted using descriptive analyses and statistical verifications of the differences in fraction indicators. According to the literature, we found that “independence from others” (control argument) is a significant difference in family firms, along with “long-term value creation” and “high growth rates”. Our focus was on Poland, a large, Eastern European country with only a brief history as a market economy. Its private sector is relatively small and there are fewer large and well-established family firms than there are in Western Europe. The practical impact of this study lies in a better understanding of Polish family firms for all stakeholders.


family firms; value creation; growth rates; Polish family firms

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Data publikacji: 2020-04-20 11:40:24
Data złożenia artykułu: 2019-10-24 10:55:39


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