Board chairs and R&D investment: Evidence from Chinese family-controlled firms

Fuxiu Jiang, Wei Shi, Xiaojia Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study extends family firm governance research by highlighting the role of board chairs in shaping research and development (R&D) investment decisions. We argue that family firms with family members as board chairs (i.e., family chairs) make more intensive R&D investment than family firms without family chairs, because family chairs enable family owners to have direct control over firms, making these owners less concerned about potential loss of socioemotional wealth. We identify two boundary conditions—public visibility of family owners, and sales growth rate relative to social aspiration levels—that shape the influence of family chairs on R&D intensity. Our findings from 1471 Chinese family-controlled firms lend support to our theoretical arguments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Board chair
  • Corporate governance
  • Family firms
  • Innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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