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First (latent) generation and family business: a perspective article

Walter Vesperi (University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)
Anna Maria Melina (Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy)
Concetta Lucia Cristofaro (ECampus University, Rome, Italy)
Marzia Ventura (Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Article publication date: 28 December 2023




Family businesses are characterized by the simultaneous presence of the family and the business system. The literature analyses sporadically the family support during the creation of a new family business. For this reason, the aim of this article is to offer new reflections and theoretical approaches in the field of family business studies. In fact, the study focuses on the first generation and the relationship and support with the previous generation (latent generation).


This perspective paper is based on a concise review of the literature.


The results of this offer a state of the art, synthesized and integrated, on the first generation to proposal the reader new knowledge on the first generation and relationships with family members.


This perspective paper distinguishes between the first generation formally engaged in the family business and the latent generation. The authors identify latent generation as a generation coeval with the first that supports the entrepreneur without being formally engaged in the family business. This study summarizes existing research on the first generation, highlighting the crucial role of the latent generation. Considering the latent generation determines an implicit and tacit generational transition not yet considered in the literature on the topic This study provides new research directions for scholars and managers to understand the entrepreneurial behaviors of families, family members and family businesses.



Since submission of this article, the following author(s) have updated their affiliations: Anna Maria Melina is at the University of Messina, Messina, Italy.


Vesperi, W., Melina, A.M., Cristofaro, C.L. and Ventura, M. (2023), "First (latent) generation and family business: a perspective article", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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