The Relationship Between Boundary Strategies and Governance Mechanisms in Middle Eastern Family Firms
The family business literature acknowledges that family firms are confronted with the unique challenge of managing dual priorities stemming from the family and business domains. The specific boundary strategies that are instituted to conciliate conflicting family-business demands are of critical importance for the governance and sustainability of family-owned enterprises. In this article, we aim to uncover the association between boundary management strategies and corporate governance mechanisms in the context of family businesses located in the Middle East. Using a multiple case study approach, we conducted several in-depth interviews with top management representatives of family firms in the region. The results of our content analyses reveal a tight alignment between boundary strategies and governance devices in these companies, providing support for the contingency theory. We conclude that the effectiveness of specific corporate governance attributes in Middle Eastern family-run organizations is contingent upon the type of boundary management strategy deployed to balance contradictory family-business objectives. Given the dearth of empirical knowledge on this topic, the contributions of this study are discussed and priorities for future research efforts in the field are delineated.
Keywords - family firms, boundary strategies, corporate governance, Middle East