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Family Involvement in Middle Management and Its Impact on the Labor Productivity of Family Firms

  • Qiongjing Hu (a1), Yanlong Zhang (a1) and Jingjing Yao (a2)
Abstract

Family business owners and researchers tend to overwhelmingly focus on the top-level structure of firms but ignore the middle-level practice – involving family members in the middle-management team. Compared to top managers at the strategic apex, middle-level managers are mainly responsible for internal operations and control, and the composition of the middle-management team has an immediate and direct impact on the overall workforce efficiency of family firms. Integrating agency theory and organizational justice perspective, we proposed that family involvement in middle management would have a negative impact on the labor productivity of family firms. We further corroborated this effect by identifying three boundary conditions at the individual (i.e., familial CEO), organizational (i.e., firm size), and regional (i.e., labor mobility) levels. Using a sample of 1,284 privately owned family firms in China, we found that family involvement in middle management, measured as the percentage of familial middle-level managers, was negatively associated with labor productivity. Furthermore, this negative relationship existed only when the CEO is a family member rather than a professional manager, when the size of the firm is large rather than small, or when the firm is located in regions with low rather than high labor mobility. These findings contribute to family business literature and provide practical implications for human resource management in family firms.

摘要:

家族企业的所有者和研究者们通常更关注公司的高层结构, 却往往忽略了企业中层的一种重要实践——家族成员参与中层管理团队。相比位于战略顶层的高层管理者, 中层管理者主要负责内部运营和控制, 同时中层管理团队的构成会对家族企业的整体劳动力效率产生即刻的、直接的作用。通过整合代理理论和组织公平视角, 我们提出, 中层管理中的家族涉入会对家族企业的劳动生产率产生负面效果。我们进一步识别了个体层次 (家族CEO) 、企业层次 (企业规模) 和地区层次 (劳动力流动性) 的三个边界条件来证实这一效应。通过对中国1,284家私营家族企业的分析, 我们发现, 中层管理中的家族涉入 (中层管理团队中家族成员的比例) 与劳动生产率负相关。此外, 这一负向关系只存在于当CEO是家族成员而非职业经理人的时候, 当企业规模大而非小的时候, 或者当企业所在地区的劳动力流动性低而非高的时候。这些发现为家族企业研究领域做出了贡献, 并为家族企业中的人力资源管理提供了实践启示。

पारिवारिक व्यापार स्वामी व शोधक मूलतः उच्चतम स्तरीय फर्म संरचना पर केंद्रित होते हैं और मध्य-स्तरीय कार्यप्रणाली—जिसमें मध्य-स्तरीय प्रबंधन में परिवार के सदस्य शामिल होते हैं—को अनदेखा करते हैं. रणनैतिक शीर्ष स्तरीय उच्च प्रबंधकों की तुलना में मध्य-स्तरीय प्रबंधक मुख्यतः आंतरिक कार्यप्रणाली और नियंत्रण के लिए ज़िम्मेदार होते हैं और मध्य-स्तरीय प्रबंधक समूह के स्वरूप का तत्पर व सीधा प्रभाव पारिवारिक फर्म की समग्र निपुणता पर होता है. एजेंसी सिद्धांत व संगठनात्मक न्याय परिप्रेक्ष्य के संघटन के माध्यम से हमारा यह प्रस्ताव है की मध्य-स्तरीय प्रबंधन में परिवार के सदस्यों के योगदान का श्रम उत्पादकता पर नकारात्मक प्रभाव होगा. हमने इस प्रस्ताव को तीन स्तरीय परिसीमन स्थितियों—व्यक्तिगत (पारिवारिक मुख्य अधिशासी), संगठनात्मक (फर्म का आकार) और क्षेत्रीय (श्रम गतिशीलता) को निरूपित कर पुष्ट किया है. चीन की 1284 निजी स्वामित्व वाली पारिवारिक फर्मों के चयन से हमने यह पाया कि परिवार के मध्य-स्तरीय प्रबंधन में योगदान—जो मध्य-स्तरीय प्रबंधन में पारिवारिक सदस्यों के प्रतिशत से मापा गया है—श्रम उत्पादकता से ऋणात्मक तौर पर जुड़ा है. साथ ही यह भी पाया गया की यह ऋणात्मक जुड़ाव तभी है जब मुख्य अधिशासी व्यावसायिक न होकर उद्यमी परिवार का सदस्य है, जब संगठन का आकार वृहद् न होकर छोटा है, या जब फर्म तीव्र श्रम गतिशीलता क्षेत्र में न होकर निम्न श्रम गतिशीलता क्षेत्र में स्थित है. यह परिणाम पारिवारिक उद्यमों के शोध में योगदान करते हैं और ऐसी फर्मों में मानव संसाधन प्रबंधन के व्यावहारिक आशय पर प्रकाश डालते हैं.

SUMÁRIO:

Proprietários e pesquisadores de empresas familiares tendem a se concentrar predominantemente na estrutura de nível superior das empresas, mas ignoram a prática no nível médio – envolvendo um membro da família na equipe gerencial intermediária. Em comparação com gerentes de topo no ápice estratégico, os gerentes de nível médio são os principais responsáveis pelas operações internas e pelo controle, e a composição da equipe de gestão intermediária tem um impacto imediato e direto na eficiência geral da força de trabalho das empresas familiares. Integrando a teoria da agência e a perspectiva da justiça organizacional, propusemos que o envolvimento da família na gestão intermediária teria um impacto negativo na produtividade do trabalho das empresas familiares. Nós corroboramos ainda mais esse efeito identificando três condições de fronteira nos níveis individual (isto é, CEO da família), organizacional (isto é, tamanho da empresa) e regional (isto é, mobilidade de trabalho). Usando uma amostra de 1.284 empresas familiares privadas na China, descobrimos que o envolvimento da família na gestão intermediária, medido como a porcentagem de gerentes familiares de nível médio, estava negativamente associado à produtividade do trabalho. Além disso, essa relação negativa existia apenas quando o CEO é um membro da família e não um gerente profissional, quando o tamanho da empresa é grande em vez de pequeno, ou quando a empresa está localizada em regiões com baixa mobilidade de trabalho, ao invés de alta. Esses achados contribuem para a literatura sobre negócios familiares e fornecem implicações práticas para a gestão de recursos humanos em empresas familiares.

АННОТАЦИЯ:

АННОТАЦИЯ: Владельцы семейного бизнеса и исследователи, как правило, полностью сосредоточены на уровне управления высшего звена в компаниях и игнорируют практику среднего звена, т. е. участие члена семьи в команде среднего звена. По сравнению с управленцами высшего звена на стратегическом уровне, менеджеры среднего звена в основном отвечают за внутренние операции и контроль, а состав команды среднего звена оказывает непосредственное и прямое влияние на общую эффективность работы семейных фирм. На основании теории агентских отношений и перспективы организационной справедливости, мы предположили, что участие семьи в управлении среднего звена оказывает отрицательное влияние на производительность труда в семейных компаниях. Мы далее нашли подтверждение этому эффекту и определили три граничных условия на индивидуальном (т. е. член семьи на позиции генерального директора), организационном (т. е. размер фирмы) и региональном (т. е. мобильность рабочей силы) уровнях. Используя выборку из 1284 частных семейных компаний в Китае, мы обнаружили, что участие семьи в управлении среднего звена, которое измеряется как процент членов семьи работающих на уровне управления среднего звена, отрицательно влияет на производительность труда. Кроме того, эта отрицательная взаимосвязь существует только тогда, когда генеральный директор является членом семьи, а не профессиональным менеджером; когда размер фирмы большой, а не маленький; или когда фирма находится в регионах с низкой, а не с высокой мобильностью рабочей силы. Эти выводы вносят свой вклад в научную литературу по семейному бизнесу, а также дают практическое руководство для управления человеческими ресурсами в семейных фирмах.

RESUMEN:

Los dueños de las empresas familiares y los investigadores tienden a centrarse abrumadoramente en la estructura superior de las empresas pero ignoran la práctica del nivel medio –en relación a los miembros de la familia en el equipo de mandos medios. Comparado con los altos directivos en el ápice estratégico, los gerentes de nivel medio son principalmente responsables por las operaciones internas y el control, y la composición del equipo mandos medios tiene un impacto inmediato y directo sobre la eficiencia general de la fuerza laboral de las empresas familiares. Integrando la teoría de la agencia y la perspectiva de la justicia organizacional, proponemos que la participación de la familia en la gerencia media podría tener un impacto negativo en la productividad de las empresas familiares. Además corroboramos este efecto con la identificación de tres condiciones de contorno en los niveles: individual (es decir el CEO de la familia, organizacional (es decir, el tamaño de la empresa), y regional (es decir, movilidad laboral). Utilizando una muestra de 1.284 empresas familiares de propiedad privada en China, encontramos que la participación de la familia en los mandos medidos, medida como el porcentaje de gerentes de nivel medio de la familia, fue asociado negativamente con la productividad laboral. Adicionalmente, esta relación negativa existe solamente cuando el CEO es un miembro de la familia en lugar de un gerente profesional, cuando el tamaño de empresa es grande en lugar de pequeño, o cuando la empresa está ubicado en regiones con baja en lugar de alta movilidad laboral. Estos hallazgos contribuyen a la literatura de empresas familiares y proporcionan implicaciones prácticas para la gestión del recurso humano en empresas familiares.

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Corresponding author: Yanlong Zhang (yanlong.zhang@gsm.pku.edu.cn)
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