Family Governance Mechanisms in Moroccan Family Businesses: An Exploratory Study

  •  Hiba Birgach    
  •  Taib Berrada El Azizi    
  •  Badr Habba    


Purpose - Despite the importance attached to the governance of family businesses, few studies have focused on the importance of family business governance in the Moroccan context. This article provides some specificities of family firms and an overview of main governance mechanisms identified in the literature while presenting the main contributions of agency and stewardship theories. We introduce a governance approach centered on the issue of strengthening family ties and increasing the commitment of family members to the firm. The purpose of this paper is to identify the governance mechanisms adopted by CEOs of Moroccan family businesses of the second generation.

Method - the authors used a qualitative method, using face to face semi-structured interviews among ten CEOs of family businesses in Morocco. Through the analysis of verbatim responses of Moroccan CEOs, we were able to identify some of the governance mechanisms they adopt to ensure a certain continuity of their business.

Findings-The results suggest that most of the Moroccan managers opt for an informal and unwritten system of governance. According to them, the important thing is to share values and vision while maintaining communication. Even family meetings remain informal, the crucial thing is to preserve family solidarity, as far as the system of governance is known by all the members. We have identified three informal governance mechanisms, family meetings, task management, and sharing a family vision. The results have also shown some of the sources of conflicts among family members.

Practical implications – This paper helps to raise awareness among Moroccan leaders on the importance of governance. Whether formal or informal, it is essential to have common rules shared by family members, which will enable the firm to last over time.

Originality - This paper contributes to research on family businesses by exploring a different context especially in terms of culture and country values. Our paper has the originality to focus on a specific area of investigation, namely the Moroccan context, where the management model of family businesses is different from anterior contributions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.