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 18: Effective Knowledge Transfer in Family Firms

Rosa Nelly Trevinyo-Rodríguez and Josep Tàpies


18 Effective knowledge transfer in family firms Rosa Nelly Trevinyo-Rodríguez and Josep Tàpies One of the most critical organizational changes family businesses deal with at some stage in their lives is the succession process. When evaluating it, two main targets are sought: quality and effectiveness. To meet these quality-effectiveness standards three elements should be transferred from the predecessor to the next generation member(s): (1) ownership control/power, (2) management responsibility and (3) competence/knowledge. This chapter focuses on the third element, knowledge, since most of the times, it is ‘the takenfor-granted’ factor. How effective intergenerational knowledge transfer in family firms takes place – under which conditions and through which variables – is the heart of this writing. We have developed the Knowledge Transfer Model in Family Firms (KTFF) which sets out several internal and external relationships in the family–enterprise–next generation system. And, although this is a conceptual text, it may drive future empirical research projects in order to provide support for the proposed interactions (relationships). Introduction One of the most common ways organizational changes are brought about in any business is through the replacement of key personnel. This process is generally called administrative succession. Indeed, organizationally, succession is important for two basic reasons: (1) it always leads to organizational instability, and (2) it is a phenomenon that all organizations must cope with (Grusky, 1960). One reason why all organizations must cope with the succession process is more than obvious: we are all mortal beings. However,...

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