Succession has been the most studied topic in family firms. The reason for this is that many family firms fail during the transition of leadership and ownership between the current owner/manager and the next generation. Traditionally research on succession has focused on the family member as they enter the leadership role (i.e., how a family firm successfully transition to the next generation) or on the different issues that affect the succession process. In this approach there seems to be an underlying assumption that family business owners have the intent to engage in succession efforts. We believe that this is not always the case. Thus, we suggest that to better understand the succession process in family firms we first need to understand succession intent and the factors that influence an owner’s intent to pass on the business. This manuscript defines succession intent and provides a conceptual framework to understand the contextual and family factors that owners evaluate to make this decision. We present theory driven propositions and discuss the implications of succession intent for our understanding and examination of the succession process.
Succession in Family Firms, Succession Intent, Transaction Cost Theory
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Annual IFERA World Family Business Conference, 2013