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Family farms, in which business and family life are intricately interwoven, offer an interesting context for better understanding the interdependence between the family…
Family farms, in which business and family life are intricately interwoven, offer an interesting context for better understanding the interdependence between the family and business system. Many family farms struggle to survive, and the succession process is a key period in which the low returns on investment become evident but also the emotional attachment of the family to the farm and the willingness to transfer the business to the next generation. We take the perspective of non-succeeding siblings since they are crucial for a successful succession but their role and position in this process is far from clear. This study will help to increase our knowledge of how fairness is perceived by non-successors and of the impact of perceived (in)justice on the family business system.
To analyze the effect on sibling relationships of an unequal outcome of the succession process, we choose the family farm context. We used interview data from multiple family members from several family farms in the Netherlands in different stages of succession. We utilized a framework based on justice theory to analyze perceptions of fairness among non-succeeding siblings. The central research question for this study is as follows: How do non-succeeding siblings perceive justice with regard to family firm succession?
The acceptance of the outcomes of the succession process by non-succeeding siblings is influenced by their perception of the fairness of the process itself and decisions made by the incumbent and successor with regard to these outcomes. It seems that stakeholders who occupy multiple roles with conflicting justice perspectives handle these contradictions with the help of an overarching goal—in this study, preserving the continuity of the family farm—and by prioritizing and adjusting the justice perspectives accordingly. The findings further show that both distributive justice and procedural justice are important and interact with each other.
Our study contributes to the literature by applying the theoretical framework of distributive and procedural justice to the context of family farm succession. This helps us to understand the position of non-succeeding siblings and their role and position in the succession process, which is important because sibling relationships have a significant impact on family harmony, with potential consequences for the business as well.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences among (potential) successors of Dutch family firms with respect to education, self-perceived capabilities…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences among (potential) successors of Dutch family firms with respect to education, self-perceived capabilities and ownership ambition.
The empirical analysis – which includes correlations, t-test and logistic regression analysis – is inspired by several theoretical perspectives used in previous studies and based on a sample of 232 (potential) successors who filled in a questionnaire.
The results show that there is a clear gender difference regarding ownership; men strive more often for full ownership, whereas women opt for shared ownership, even when controlling for relevant variables such as the presence of children.
Future research should address the precise reasons why female successors prefer shared ownership. Particularly, it would be interesting to include the impact of the institutional environment, for example the specific Dutch working culture, where the majority of women works part-time.
Shared ownership might be more complicated in terms of governance and management than full ownership.
Opportunities for shared ownership might stimulate more women to take over the family firm, and therefore contribute to more diversity among family business owners.
This paper contributes to the still limited knowledge on gender differences among successors of family firms.