Leading succession in a family business

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Business | Master's thesis
Date
2024
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
People Management and Organizational Development
Language
en
Pages
76+2
Series
Abstract
Succession is very likely an actual topic in many family businesses at some point in the life cycle of the business. There are many things to take into consideration in succession such as legal factors, financial state of the business, future development, and emotions. Passing on the operational side of a business can be a significant change for an individual, especially if they have founded or co-founded the business. As the interviews for this research revealed, in most cases the bond with the family business is more personal since it is often someone's life's work and therefore has a considerable emotional impact. Since succession is a major change for the company, I was interested in how to make it more successful with the help of leadership. This thesis presents a thorough examination of the prevalent challenges surrounding succession within family businesses, drawing from a blend of existing literature and first-hand insights gathered through six interviews. All the interviewees are working in their family’s company. The chosen companies have already done at least one succession. The theoretical framework has been compiled from scientific articles and other academical sources on the subject. The theoretical framework covers the main theories, concepts and models related to the topic. Previous studies are presented in an analytical way, with an attempt to introduce themes such as leadership and leading the succession of a family business. At the same time, it aims to address failures and successes in the process in the light of previous research findings. The analysis encompasses a spectrum of issues encountered in the succession phase, ranging from generational differences to the influence of emotions, the delicate equilibrium between family and work relationships, and all the intricacies of leadership transition. The exploration uncovered a recurring theme: the critical significance of harmonious and resilient familial relationships. By shedding light on these challenges, the paper offers valuable insights for family businesses navigating the complexities of succession planning and students currently studying this subject matter from a theoretical standpoint.
Description
Thesis advisor
Kibler, Ewald
Keywords
family business, succession, leadership, change
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Citation