Centralization and delegation practices in family versus non-family SMEs: a Rasch analysis

Wendy L. Martin, Alexander McKelvie, G. T. Lumpkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In this paper, we examine differences in centralization and delegation practices of family and non-family firms. Using Aston studies measures, we examine specific types of decisions and the level of authority involved in decision making by owner-managers. We use Rasch analysis to examine the concentration of authority in a sample of 124 small- and medium-sized firms. We find that family firms maintain more centralized decision making and delegate differently than their non-family counterparts. Whereas family firms prioritize centralizing operational issues, non-family firms centralize employment issues more. Our findings have implications for understanding the distinctiveness and professionalization of family firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-769
Number of pages15
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Centralization
  • Decision making
  • Delegation
  • Family firms
  • Rasch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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