Handbook of Research on Family Business
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Handbook of Research on Family Business

Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein

The Handbook of Research on Family Business provides a comprehensive first port of call for those wishing to survey progress in the theory and practice of family business research. In response to the extensive growth of family business as a topic of academic inquiry, the principal objective of the Handbook is to provide an authoritative and scholarly overview of current thinking in this multidisciplinary field.
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Chapter 13: Founder–Successor’s Transition: A Model of Coherent Value Transmission Paths

Ercilia García-Álvarez and Jordi López-Sintas


Ercilia García-Álvarez and Jordi López-Sintas In this chapter we delineate a model that presents the different coherent options of value transmission and successor’s socialization that facilitate family business continuity from first to second generation. Our findings are grounded on combined qualitative and quantitative techniques from an extensive research project of in-depth cross-case analysis. Thus, based on our results we now highlight some issues that families and practitioners should take into account to keep the coherence during the succession process. That is, professionals can assist families in preparing the continuity by (1) identifying family value systems, (2) analysing key variables at play in the family-business system, and (3) proposing a coherent option of continuity that both family and business can pursue. Consequently, families and practitioners can benefit from following the paths suggested here as they are coherent combinations among values and characteristics belonging to each family business and different successor’s socialization processes that increase the probability of achieving a successful founder–successor’s transition. Introduction Some years ago Hambrick and Mason (1984) pointed out that organizations are shaped by their top managers. In this vein the CEO’s role has been described as the most powerful, representing the ultimate decision-maker and the person with absolute authority (Kesner and Sebora, 1994). Parties external to the firm are likely to view succession as a signal about the institution’s future (Beatty and Zajac, 1987), this makes CEO succession a critical event for virtually every organization (Chaganty and Sambharya, 1987; Davis,...

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