Edited by Ritch L. Sorenson, Andy Yu, Keith H. Brigham and G. T. Lumpkin
Chapter 8: Succession in family firms
The process of succession in family firms is often both lengthy and complex, and is influenced by factors such as the personal goals of the owner-manager, family structure, ability and ambitions of potential successors, and legal and financial issues (Le Breton-Miller, Miller, & Steier, 2004). Scholars of family business tend to emphasize what determines successful ownership and management succession involving family members and non-family stakeholders, alongside the general characteristics of effective succession (Handler, 1994; Le Breton-Miller et al., 2004; Sharma, Chrisman, & Chua, 2003a). A majority of privately held firms in many developed countries are likely to shift ownership as the owners approach retirement. Thus, from a public policy perspective, there is a need to study the conditions surrounding successful succession of family firms and the implications of these successions in the socio-economic context. This chapter presents a comprehensive review of the scholarly literature on ownership transition and management succession in family firms. We found that most of the literature on succession is conceptual or relies on a small number of cases and/or surveys based on convenience samples.
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