The Performance of Swiss and German Family Firms: Investigating Strategies, Orientations and SEW as Determinants

Sieger, Philipp; Zellweger, Thomas (2015). The Performance of Swiss and German Family Firms: Investigating Strategies, Orientations and SEW as Determinants. In: Firms within Families: Enterprising in Diverse Country Contexts (pp. 37-56). Edward Elgar

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

In this chapter we center our attention on the performance drivers of family firms in Switzerland and Germany and compare the corresponding results with the findings generated in the US. Investigating family firms is justified as this organizational form not only constitutes the majority of all firms globally (Sharma and Carney, 2012), but in particular in Switzerland and Germany. In fact, more than 88 percent of all firms in Switzerland are defined as family firms (Frey, Halter, Klein, and Zellweger, 2004), and numbers for Germany are similar (Klein, 2000). While more than 99 percent of all companies in Switzerland are small and medium-sized (Frey et al., 2004), the share of family firms varies with firm size; more specifically, the share of family firms decreases with increasing firm size, which is in line with findings from Germany (Klein, 2000). The social and economic impact of family firms is remarkable. In Germany for instance, family controlled firms provide 60 percent of all jobs and account for 51 percent of the total sales of the German economy (cf. Even though the interest of both academics and practitioners in family firms has been rising significantly in recent years, the existing body of knowledge in the field is still rather fragmented (Sharma, 2004; Sharma and Carney, 2012).

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Management

UniBE Contributor:

Sieger, Philipp


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations




Edward Elgar




Philipp Sieger

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2016 13:50

Last Modified:

19 Jul 2016 13:50


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback