AN EMPIRICAL COMPARISON OF THE MANAGERIAL DEVELOPMENT OF FAMILY AND NON-FAMILY SMEs FROM AUSTRALIA'S MANUFACTURING SECTOR
This study utilises data derived from the responses of 871 manufacturing SMEs between 1995/96 and 1997/98. The firms were segmented according to McMahon's (2001) taxonomy of low, moderate and high growth SMEs and then divided into family and non-family businesses. The study then empirically compares seven characteristics of managerial development across the two groups. The findings indicate there are significant differences in the managerial development of family and non-family businesses. In general, family businesses have more working proprietors, partners or directors; major decision-makers with less tertiary qualifications and are slower to adopt some management practices as they grow. Similarities include the size of their management teams, the practices of comparing performance and budget forecasting, and the evolution process itself. From a methodological perspective the findings indicate that the context of firms sampled needs to be controlled if meaningful comparisons are to be made.
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