Unexpected Succession: When Children Return to Take Over the Family Business

Abstract : This research explores family succession in which the successors were unexpected. We present six cases studies of children who initially pursued careers outside the family firm but who later decided to return and successfully take over the small family business. Our outcomes explain why they decided to return, the conditions that they set for succeeding their fathers and the way they approached the management of the family firm. We show that the success they experienced in their professional careers far from the family business positioned them as legitimate leaders. They made a deliberate personal choice to succeed, negotiating the conditions, and this put them on the same level as their predecessors. These successors act as entrepreneurs, they are proactive, take risks, detect new business opportunities and do not hesitate to innovate. The changes that they implement are possible thanks to the support of their predecessors which avoids the destabilisation of the organisation.
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Journal articles
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https://hal-univ-lyon3.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00975442
Contributor : Marie-Christine Chalus-Sauvannet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 4:19:21 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 2, 2019 - 12:23:49 PM

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Marie-Christine Chalus-Sauvannet, Bérangère Deschamps, Luis Cisneros. Unexpected Succession: When Children Return to Take Over the Family Business. Journal of Small Business Management, Wiley, 2016, 54 (2), pp.714-731. ⟨10.1111/jsbm.12167⟩. ⟨hal-00975442⟩

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