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Transfers of business planning and bounded emotionality: a follow‐up case study

Ulla Hytti (Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland)
Pekka Stenholm (Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland)
Kirsi Peura (Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




Existing research focuses on the role of planning in successful transfers of family business. From a bounded emotionality perspective, this paper aims to investigate the transfer of business processes and the underlying reasons for delayed or unplanned transfers despite the feasible succession plans.


A follow‐up case study in six small family firms was carried out between 2001 and 2008. The research material was collected primarily in interviews with firm representatives in 2001 and 2008. Further information was obtained through participant observation, and background data on the firms were also used.


The analysis enhances understanding of business‐transfer processes in the context of subjective limitations and relational feelings. Any divergence from the original conditions in the transfer plan may delay the process but the delays are tolerated by putting the transfer on hold in the daily activities and focusing on business routines instead. The results emphasise how individuals' goals and values change over time, and how decisions are weighed up from various identity positions questioning the basic assumptions and decisions set out in the plan. Despite the delays, however, transfers of business or the firm are not easily abandoned.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that linear, goal‐oriented planning may not be sufficient for executing successful transfers, but further longitudinal research is needed to corroborate these qualitative findings.


The paper makes use of the bounded emotionality approach, which allows the analysis of both the rational and emotional aspects involved, and helps to explain delays or unplanned transfers.



Hytti, U., Stenholm, P. and Peura, K. (2011), "Transfers of business planning and bounded emotionality: a follow‐up case study", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 561-580.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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