Free Access
Volume 15, Number 2, 2001
Page(s) 85 - 107
DOI: 10.1051/ejess:2001117

European Journal of Economic and Social Systems 15 N° 2 (2001) 85-107

Ownership structure and the performance of firms: Evidence from France

Éric Séverin

Université de Lille 2, ESA-Laboratoire du Germe, 1 Place Déliot, BP 381, 59020 Lille Cedex. E-mail:

This paper deals with the influence of ownership structure, variables of external and organisational discipline on financial and economic performance. By means of self-organising maps, in particular Kohonen maps, we highlight three main results. Firstly, the results obtained from a sample of French companies are consistent with the findings of Morck, Shleifer and Vishny (1988), McConnell and Servaes (1990) and Short and Keasey (1999) and suggest a non-linear relation between ownership structure and performance. Secondly, the variables of external discipline, that is leverage and stock-turnover, partly explain performance. Although debt level negatively influences performance (Opler and Titman, 1994), conversely, stock-turnover has a beneficial impact on performance (Charreaux, 1997). Finally, though the organisational variables seem to have no significant impact on performance, corporate size has a positive influence on performance.

Key words: Ownership structure, performance, self-organising maps

© EDP Sciences 2001