Purpose This paper aims to investigate the effect of the nature of ownership and board characteristics on the investment choices in joint ventures (JVs) from the dimensional point of view, controlling for the effect of JV type and other components of intellectual capital. Design/methodology/approach The authors study a sample of Italian, Spanish, German and French nonfinancial listed firms over the 2010–2018 period, controlling for the fixed effects of the company's sector of operation and the year. The authors also analyze the effect of family control and influence on JV investment size, taking into consideration certain board characteristics, the type of JV, human capital efficiency, structural capital efficiency and capital employed efficiency while also controlling for a firm's profitability and size. To test the hypotheses, GLS panel data was used. Findings The results indicate that the size of the investment in JVs is smaller for family firms than for nonfamily businesses. The presence of CEO duality has an opposing effect on the size of the investment in joint ventures as it has a lowering effect in family businesses while it exerts an amplifier influence in nonfamily businesses. Moreover, the type of joint venture has a significant effect for family firms: the choice of a link joint venture reduces the size of the investment. The authors find that human capital efficiency increases JV investment size for all firms. Originality/value This study is the first to analyze the effect of the main dimension of socioemotional wealth – family control and influence – on a firm's JV investment size. It controls for the effect of JV type – link or scale – and the interplay of the other IC components.
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