The role of conflict in the adoption of governance practices in family businesses

Authors Organisations
  • Asael Islas-moreno(Author)
    Chapingo Autonomous University
  • Manrrubio Muñoz-rodríguez(Author)
    Chapingo Autonomous University
  • Vinicio Horacio Santoyo-cortés(Author)
    Chapingo Autonomous University
  • Enrique Genaro Martínez-gonzález(Author)
    Chapingo Autonomous University
  • Norman Aguilar-gallegos(Author)
    Chapingo Autonomous University
  • Wyn Morris(Author)
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-980
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Business Management
Issue number4
Early online date01 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2022
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Little is known regarding triggers in the adoption of governance practices within family businesses. Enterprises can implement governance practices to avoid re-arising conflicts lived in the past. Moreover, the type of conflicts experienced can determine the order in which different types of governance practices are adopted, another issue that requires further investigation. To address these knowledge gaps, this study gathers evidence into how the adoption of governance practices is linked to the conflicts experienced in family businesses and how this adoption evolves.

A multiple case study was conducted with 15 family businesses in the agricultural sector. The conflicts experienced throughout the enterprises' trajectories and the governance practices adopted were analysed and classified according to their relationship with the family, business and ownership subsystems.

The study shows that there is no direct link between the conflicts experienced and the governance practices adopted in family businesses. The most recurrent conflicts have to do with the relationship between family and ownership; however, the adoption of governance practices is centred on the relationship between business and ownership. The practices that mediate the relationship between family and business are adopted second, and the practices that mediate the relationship between family and ownership are adopted last.

The study applies a classification of conflicts and governance practices that adjusts to the complexity of the family business. The research contributes to the field by providing an understanding of the integration of knowledge about the family business, governance systems and conflict.


  • Corporate governance, Family business, Family governance, Institutionalization and agriculture, Professionalization