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Influence of owner-manager-related factors on the succession process in small and medium-sized family businesses

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Abstract:

In this study, owner-manager-related factors that can influence the succession process in small and medium-sized family businesses are empirically investigated. The study was conducted among 2,458 owner-managers and successors in 1,038 family businesses identified via a snowball sampling technique. A total of 332 usable questionnaires was returned. The dependent variable in this study, namely the 'perceived success of the succession process', is measured by two underlying dimensions, namely the 'satisfaction with the process' and 'continued profitability of the business'. The empirical results indicate that the owner-manager-related factors that influence 'satisfaction with the process' are the 'relationship between the owner-manager and successor', the 'owner-manager's trust in the successor's abilities and intentions' and 'family harmony'. The 'continued profitability of the business' is influenced by the 'relationship between the successor and owner-manager' and the 'trust that the owner-manager has in his or her successor's abilities and intentions'. The willingness of the owner-manager to hand over the business is in turn influenced by the extent to which he or she has 'interests outside of the context of the family business' and has 'trust in the successor's abilities and intentions'. The extent to which there is 'harmony among the family members' will influence the 'relationship between the owner-manager and successor'. Based on these findings, recommendations for successful successions are offered.

Keywords: FAMILY BUSINESSES; OWNER-MANAGER; SUCCESSION; SUCCESSOR

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000006775870451

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to www.ippublishing.com.
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