The purpose of this paper is to analyze the family business succession process using Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and conceptualisation of a knowledge‐creating place, Ba to enhance one's understanding of critical managerial challenges in family business succession.
Based on literature review, Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and knowledge‐creating space is applied to the family business succession process.
Through literature review and synthesis thereof the paper concludes that Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation is a highly valid framework for analyzing and supporting the family business succession process. The paper proposes that Ba is a perception of a place – the family firm – and a shared purpose among family members in that firm. It is posited that the absence of Ba can be a significant barrier to a family firm adopting a successful succession process. Creating a Ba is essential for family firms to survive.
Only propositions are presented, but they serve as valid research questions for future research.
Previous research of knowledge management processes and applications in family business context is scarce. Moreover, research on succession in family firms has not been considered as a knowledge creating and sharing process. This paper applies a valid and widely used model to the context of family firms and adopts the view that a succession process in essence is a knowledge creating and sharing process.
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