Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Productivity and value added distribution in family-owned businesses

Jose Luis Gallizo Larraz, Jordi Moreno Gené, Laura Sánchez Pulido


Purpose: Identify similarities and/or differences in the distribution of Value Added
characterizing family businesses as opposed to non-family held firms, and analyse productivity
by linking the distribution of the wealth generated by the company to a variety of related agents
or stakeholders(employees, providers of loan capital, and shareholders).
Design/methodology: A data series consisting of VA distribution in a sample of 8,609
Spanish companies, of which 5,109 are family firms and another 3,500 companies which are
not, for the period comprising 2008 to 2013 was employed for this study. The data from the
financial statements pertaining to these companies was taken from the SABI system (a privatelyfunded
database analysing the financials of Spanish and Portuguese firms, operated by
INFORMA, SA), selecting only those companies that employ standardized financial reporting
Findings: The work shows the existence of significant differences between family and nonfamily
businesses in the distribution of value added among the different stakeholders. Given
that, although both types of company spend most of the value added to remunerate staff, the
family company spends a higher proportion thereof on self-financing as compared to nonfamily
businesses, which spend a higher percentage on the remuneration of firm ownership. On the other hand, the lower labour productivity of family businesses is apparent, a result that can
be explained both by the lower staff monetary remuneration, as well as the use of production
technologies that are also less capital-intensive.
Research limitations/implications: The study included only medium and large companies.
These are companies that report financial statements offering more disaggregated data (through
use of the standard forms).This owes to the legal requirement of these companies to file a cash
flow statement, a necessary source for deriving information on dividends paid by the company.
Originality/value: This is the first study in which the workings of added value are used to
analyse the presence of measurable management differences in a large sample of companies
using family ownership as the main criteria for differentiation.

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