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The family business CEO: A review of insights and opportunities for advancement

Vitaliy Skorodziyevskiy Jeffrey A. Chandler James J. Chrisman Joshua J. Daspit Oleg V. Petrenko
Journal of Small Business Management. December 22, 2023

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Understanding chief executive officers (CEOs) is important because of their vast influence on the strategies and performance of organizations. With the growth of family business research, new insights about family firm CEOs have emerged. However, knowledge about family firm CEOs is dispersed across an array of disciplines that take different perspectives. These differences have led to an inconsistent understanding of family firm CEOs, particularly since they can be family or nonfamily members with varying levels of willingness, ability, and capability to select and implement distinctive strategies. To better understand CEOs in family firms, we reviewed 175 articles published between 1984 and 2021 using upper echelons theory to capture the relationships among CEO characteristics, strategic choices, and firm performance. Our integrative review synthesizes findings from entrepreneurship, management, finance, economics, and other disciplines to provide insights and future research directions on CEO characteristics, strategic choices, and firm performance in family firms.