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This study adds to the theory of family business management by exploring the effects of family ownership on the corporate misconduct of small firms in the United States. The empirical findings indicate that small family-owned firms are less likely to commit misconduct than small non-family-owned firms. We interpret this finding as family firms aiming to achieve the trans-generational succession of moral capital. Further investigation shows a nonlinear family-ownership–misconduct relationship. A negative relationship between them only appears in mature firms. We further show that for relatively mature firms, only family firms with older owners are less likely to commit corporate misconduct.
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- Family Ownership and Corporate Misconduct in U.S. Small Firms
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