This paper aims to create a connection between entrepreneurial learning and succession planning in family-owned businesses (FOB), and how they work together to improve a firm’s chances of survival beyond the founder within a Ghanaian context.
Through a phenomenological study, this work investigates succession planning processes in FOB, with the objective of developing a succession model suitable for the Ghanaian context. Using a constructivist perspective, six family businesses were studied, interviewing the founder, successor, family members, employees and customers therein.
Existing knowledge has been confirmed that succession is not a one-off event, but a process that takes place over time, requiring the buy-in of not just the founder and successor, but also other stakeholders, including the successor’s siblings and spouse (if any), whose support is imperative to the success of the process. This study reviewed and synthesised relevant research data into a conceptual framework.
This study can potentially inform the basis of a longitudinal study, using the developed framework to confirm its robustness. It can also inform further quantitative research to validate the generalisability of the framework.
The study contributes to FOB practice, the holistic succession model spanning the founder’s entry into the business, to the post-succession period, and incorporating contextual intervening variables such as polygamy, religion and systems of inheritance, while also contributing to theory by proposing a comprehensive succession process theory to enhance understanding of the process.
The study contributes increased understanding of the essential elements in the succession process in an African context, what appropriate measures can be implemented for effective succession outcomes, and how key stakeholders of the business can be effectively managed as part of overseeing the succession process for positive organisational outcomes.
Buckman, J., Jones, P. and Buame, S. (2019), "Passing on the baton: A succession planning framework for family-owned businesses in Ghana", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 259-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-11-2018-0124Download as .RIS
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