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Succession in the Family Firm:A Cognitive Categorization Perspective

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Using cognitive categorization as a foundation, this paper develops a theory of leadership succession in the family firm. We specify a general leadership succession model that includes the process by which both the parent/leader and child/successor evaluate each other and themselves through the cognitive categorization process, and we develop testable propositions from the parent/leader and child/successor classifications. This paper posits that these classifications influence the succession process as the parent/leader prepares the child/successor for leadership, and that the child/successor determines both the desirability of assuming leadership and his or her readiness to accept succession.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Cincinnati

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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