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First-, Second-, and Third-Generation Family Firms: A Comparison

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There has been limited prior research into generational differences among family businesses. This study compared first-, second-, and third-generation family firms. Contrary to much of the current literature, only two significant differences were found when testing 11 hypotheses. As hypothesized, first-generation family businesses do less succession planning than second- and third-generation family firms, and there are no differences between first-, second-, and third- generation firms with regard to the influence of the firm's founder. Also, first-generation firms had the highest use of equity versus debt financing. Although not tested as a hypothesis, demographic analysis indicated fewer first-generation firms using the corporation form of ownership. Analysis of covariance indicated no spurious relationships existing in the hypotheses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Management, General Business and Entrepreneurship, Weller Hall, Hofstra University 2: Department of Management, Springfield College

Publication date: 01 September 2004

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