Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This unique reference book provides an array of diverse perspectives on international entrepreneurship, a new and emerging field of research that blends concepts and methodologies from more traditional social sciences. The Handbook includes chapters written by top researchers of economics and sociology, as well as academic leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and international business. State-of-the-art contributions provide up-to-date literature reviews, making this book essential for the researcher of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 42: Family Business Successions: Toward Future Research

Robert H. Brockhaus


Robert H. Brockhaus Sr. Succession of management is a significant moment in a family business’s life. Indeed, Ward (1987) defines a family business as a business that will be passed from one generation to another. Because of the importance of a successful transfer of management, much has been written about succession issues (Sharma et al., 1996). Succession is one issue that requires analysis from the perspectives of family, management and ownership systems in order to understand adequately the perspectives of the different stakeholders. Lansberg (1988) describes how succession planning is a topic that is approached with ambivalence because it ‘imposes a wide variety of significant changes on the family firm: family relationships need to be realigned, traditional patterns of influence are redistributed, and long-standing management and ownership structures must give way to new structures’. Lansberg’s studies suggest how succession affects the founder, the successor, the family, the managers, the owners and other stakeholders. This chapter will attempt to summarize the key issues and what past research has discovered. Its review of research will be structured along a sequence of activities related to succession. The order of topics to be presented is industry strategic analysis; family business analysis; selection of successor; development of successor and relationship issues. Because much of what has been written is not based upon well-designed empirical research studies, suggestions for improved research methodologies will be made. Industry strategic analysis The question of ‘business first’ or ‘family first’ is usually answered by...

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