Spanish case differs from the evidence observed in other European countries as UK, where family ownership among large firms shows a pattern similar to that in the US, in the sense that founding families are able to control the firm with small block holdings of shares (Rodríguez et al, 1994; Alonso and Andrés, 2002; Franks, Mayer and Rossi, 2004).

Researchers have repeatedly argued that conceptually the strategic planning processes and the resulting strategies of family businesses differ significantly from the processes and the strategies of non-family firms (Ward, 1988; Harris, Martinez and Ward, 1994). The paper empirically analyses the differences between family and non-family firms related with business performance and survival prospects.