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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Margaret M.C. Humphreys

The research asked: How do daughters take the lead in their family businesses? What are the relevant issues that characterize the succession process for daughters, what…

Abstract

Purpose

The research asked: How do daughters take the lead in their family businesses? What are the relevant issues that characterize the succession process for daughters, what are the attributes of daughter successors, and what, if any, features distinguish their leadership style?

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research comprised reflective interviews with 14 daughter successors. Thematic data analysis was used to analyze data, build models and link to previous research.

Findings

The shifting landscape of women's roles in family businesses is evidenced through the experiences of daughters who have taken over the top leadership positions in their family firms. Skill and commitment override gender in successor selection. The women were intrinsically motivated to take over their family businesses and owned significant shares in their firms. The findings confirm the centrality of the successor‐incumbent relationship and reveal mentoring, frequently by the incumbent, as the principal vehicle for the transfer of business leadership. Emotional competence emerged as a key successor quality.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on a single perspective, that of the successor. The accounts may include elements of performance, that is, selection of content based on the audience and the participant's desired results.

Originality/value

The paper provides an alternate view to female invisibility in the family business, and the practice of primogeniture. This is new research on succession and women's roles in family business.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2020

Albert James, Elias Hadjielias, Maribel Guerrero, Allan Discua Cruz and Rodrigo Basco

This article is the editorial for the special issue on “Entrepreneurial Families in Business Across Generations, Contexts and Cultures”. We aim to develop a road map that…

Abstract

Purpose

This article is the editorial for the special issue on “Entrepreneurial Families in Business Across Generations, Contexts and Cultures”. We aim to develop a road map that can help academics and practitioners navigate the findings of the articles contained in this special issue. We also suggest future lines of research around the topic of entrepreneurial families in business.

Design/methodology/approach

We develop a conceptual model for interpreting and understanding entrepreneurial families in business across contexts and time.

Findings

Our conceptual model highlights the importance of context and time when conducting research on entrepreneurial families in business.

Practical implications

The findings in this special issue will be of relevance for decision makers who tailor policies that embrace different economic and social actors, including entrepreneurial families.

Originality/value

This editorial and the articles that make up this special issue contribute to family business research by contextualising the phenomenon of entrepreneurial families in business. We propose a new holistic perspective to incorporate context and time in the study of entrepreneurial families that own, govern and manage family firms over time.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2019

Filippo Ferrari

This paper aims to investigate and explain the power dynamics involving the mother (as the founder) and the daughter (as the successor) during the business transmission process.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate and explain the power dynamics involving the mother (as the founder) and the daughter (as the successor) during the business transmission process.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research was conducted on a sample of Italian family SMEs. The adopted approach is consistent with the narration paradigm, where the biographical features of the participant are investigated to highlight the culture, value systems and other background features.

Findings

This research suggests that if the founder is her mother, the daughter faces further challenges. Findings suggest that during business transmission, it is also important to consider the cultural and contextual factors, such as gender biases, both in the family and in the workplace. This paper seems to suggest that power is important in itself, regardless of the gender of those who exercise it.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate, quantitatively, the same issues considered in this research, to assess the reliability and validity of the evidence discussed here.

Practical implications

This paper suggests how to overcome dysfunctional dynamics in mother–daughter business transmission.

Social implications

Family firms are the most widespread type of firm in the world; as a consequence, systematic failures in business transmission represent a prominent socio-economical problem for policymakers and institutions.

Originality/value

This research shows that in family business, power is not dynamic and does not shift among family members, as suggested by previous research. Even once the mother retires, a stable power hierarchy remains within the family firm.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 May 2021

Hanna Almlöf and Hans Sjögren

This study sheds light on a hitherto understudied group in family business literature: widows. We explore the roles a widow may take following the unexpected death of her…

Abstract

Purpose

This study sheds light on a hitherto understudied group in family business literature: widows. We explore the roles a widow may take following the unexpected death of her owner-manager spouse when she had no salient role in the business prior to the death.

Design/methodology/approach

We used a qualitative approach to research, to study inductively the roles considered and taken by three widows who unexpectedly succeeded as owners of Swedish privately held family firms. We conducted semi-structured interviews with widows and children in top management.

Findings

We construct a typology of four main roles a widow can take and analyse the underlying dimensions that they represent. We also analyse to which extent the choice of role widow can be explained by psychological ownership and double-loss theory. The typology can be used as a tool for family business owners and their advisors as the basis of an open and non-prejudiced discussion of the choices available to a widow.

Originality/value

We have investigated the factors that influence a widow's decision whether to take over the business or not, as suggested in previous research by, for example, Martinez et al. (2009). We explore the roles a widow can consider and adopt. The study advances our understanding of how businesses can remain as family firms also in the event of the unexpected death of an owner-manager (De Massis et al., 2008). We hereby contribute to the literature on sudden successions and on women in family businesses.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2018

Zeeshan Ahmad and Muhammad Rizwan Yaseen

The purpose of this paper is to enhance the longevity and improve the succession process in small family businesses sustaining in Pakistan. Family businesses perform an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enhance the longevity and improve the succession process in small family businesses sustaining in Pakistan. Family businesses perform an active role in economic development of any country. Statistics shows, 30/13/3 business transfers into subsequent generation in the interfamily business (Ward, 2016).

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected from 365 respondents who were either incumbents or successor in 135 small family businesses in Pakistan. Simple linear regression and process control analysis by Andrew Hayes are used for moderating variable analysis in SPSS20.

Findings

The results show that customer focus management, business strategies and governance board have a significant positive impact on the succession process of small family business in Pakistan. There is negative significant moderating impact of education on business strategies and customer focus management while there is no moderating impact of education over governance board and satisfaction with succession.

Research limitations/implications

This study will help the family business incumbents to focus deliberately on the factors that influence the succession process so that business could be transferred to the subsequent generation successfully.

Originality/value

The previous research does not show the effect of education at different levels and importance of customer focus management toward the succession process.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 June 2020

Ilse Matser, Jelle Bouma and Erik Veldhuizen

Family farms, in which business and family life are intricately interwoven, offer an interesting context for better understanding the interdependence between the family…

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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?

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2021

Michele N. Medina-Craven, Emily Garrigues Marett and Sara E. Davis

This conceptual paper explores how the activation of the individual-level trait grit can explain variance in successor willingness to take over leadership of the family firm.

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper explores how the activation of the individual-level trait grit can explain variance in successor willingness to take over leadership of the family firm.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from trait activation and situation strength theories, the authors develop a framework to examine the interactions of the two dimensions of grit (passion and perseverance) on the successor's willingness to take control of the family firm.

Findings

The authors identify how the grit dimensions would interact with the situational cues present during the succession process to predict the successor's willingness to take control of the family firm and offer testable propositions to guide future empirical work.

Originality/value

The authors help to address the growing need for additional microfoundational family firm research by drawing insights from organizational behavior theories and personality research and apply them to the family firm succession process.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2018

Jahangir Wasim, James Cunningham, Alexander Maxwell-Cole and James Richard Taylor

Knowledge transfer plays a key role in the succession process. While much attention has been given to the passing of business knowledge form incumbent to successor, less…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge transfer plays a key role in the succession process. While much attention has been given to the passing of business knowledge form incumbent to successor, less is known about the use of nonfamily knowledge during this most crucial of family business events. The purpose of this paper is to look how knowledge from nonfamily employees is treated at times of succession. Importantly, it considers how the controlling family’s cultural background may influence nonfamily knowledge use, and subsequent implications for the succession process.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory comparative case study design is adopted in order to uncover the complex social and cultural dynamics around knowledge use. Four case studies are presented from family businesses of different, and contrasting, cultural origins. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, observations and formal secondary data from the organisations, all of whom operate in the UK.

Findings

Findings reveal a complex picture, part influenced by the cultural dynamics of the family and part by business necessity. Specifically, power–distance appears as an informative cultural dimension, influencing how knowledge is used and nonfamily are perceived. While some family businesses privilege the knowledge from family, others see the need to build knowledge relationships more broadly.

Originality/value

This paper provides further evidence to the heterogeneity of family businesses. It moves beyond a processual explanation of succession to develop a more contextually aware understanding of the dynamics and sensitivities involved.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Ulla Hytti, Pekka Stenholm and Kirsi Peura

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…

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1064

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2019

Jacob Donald Tan, Hendrawan Supratikno, Rudy Pramono, John Tampil Purba and Innocentius Bernarto

This paper aims to explore and explain how predecessors (incumbents) of ethnic Chinese family small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia or appropriately…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and explain how predecessors (incumbents) of ethnic Chinese family small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia or appropriately called Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs nurture their successors in procuring transgenerational entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 25 participants were involved in this qualitative study which employed a multi-method triangulation design with the following research instruments: semi-structured in-depth interviews with experts, incumbents and successors of Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs, field notes from conversations and observations during engagement with participants affiliated to the family SMEs, a focus group discussion with academicians and literature reviews. Another key approach is source triangulation, where different participants – e.g. from among the experts, from among the incumbents, successors and family members in each family business case were interviewed and engaged outside the interview sessions.

Findings

The proposed theoretical framework depicts comprehensive attributes of nurturing Chinese-Indonesian successors to continue enterprising at the helm of family SMEs. Propositions are used to explain the impacts these attributes have on transgenerational entrepreneurship specifically. At the personal level, incumbents have to focus on discovering the successors’ passions and nurture them in formal education, childhood involvement, as well as bridging them in entrepreneurial knowledge through cultural values, mentorship, autonomy and role modelling. Incumbents also had to plan for their retirements to provide autonomy for successors. At the firm/family level, incumbents must be able to set a foothold on family governance, firm governance and ownership distribution to reduce conflicts in their family businesses. Furthermore, as a minority group with past traumatic experiences, Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs usually equip themselves with contingency plans to protect their assets for the long-term future.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in Indonesia amongst Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs and thus it is not generalisable in other settings. Literature reviews on family SMEs succession are still scant, especially on the Chinese-Indonesian.

Practical implications

Predecessors/incumbents of Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs could consider implementing the proposed nurturing strategies to their successors to sustain the longevity of the business based on trust, stewardship and harmony. The theoretical research framework resulted from this study offers general suggestions on how to nurture the next generation specifically from personal/interpersonal perspectives, which must be accompanied by specific scopes of family and firm aspects. This study extends beyond indicating the factors (ingredients) by explaining how to nurture transgenerational entrepreneurship (cook the ingredients) in SMEs for a tactful transition. Hence, the incumbents play vital roles and must be poised to adjust their mindsets to certain aspects indicated in this study.

Social implications

Most overseas Chinese businesses are family-owned, and besides Indonesia constituting the largest Chinese population outside the Republic of China, this 3 per cent of Indonesia’s people are known for controlling about 70 per cent of the economy. Furthermore, SMEs play a significant role in the Indonesian economy, as they provide about 97 per cent off the country’s employment and 57.8 per cent of the gross domestic product. Hence, the longevity of Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs must be well managed to bolster the economy and social welfare of the country.

Originality/value

A transgenerational entrepreneurship model in the context of Chinese-Indonesian family SMEs which incorporates the nurturing process of the successor to step up the helm of the business is proposed in the study.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

Keywords

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