Maria Aluchna, of the Warsaw School of Economics, Poland, presented an interesting paper on the effectiveness of corporate governance in founder-controlled companies, using a sample of 100 listed on the Warsaw stock exchange. Some 62% of companies listed on the Warsaw exchange are controlled by founders, which was much higher than I would have guessed.
Aluchna's analysis confirmed research that has been previously reported elsewhere: that founder-controlled companies tend to have a lower number of shareholders in total, less effective corporate governance and higher degrees of active involvement—some would say interference—in the day-to-day management and operation of the company. The "less effective" presented no real surprise, as strong-willed founders can (and often do) exert higher levels of influence (including the overriding of board decisions and CEO priorities in more extreme cases). While the research is a helpful addition to the discourse, an important question was not tackled. Are higher degrees of involvement by founders (who are not executives) good or is the bad? Aluchna's indicated that research is underway to try to answer this question. I look forward to reading the results of her work.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.