EIASM: Workshop on Family Firms Management Research edition:6 location:ESADE - Barcelona date:6-8 June 2010
This study aims to increase our understanding of what qualities family successors and family incumbents find important and what qualities are applied by family successors to realize family business success. A qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with twelve successors and four incumbents of eight heterogeneous family businesses is completed with a quantitative study based on questionnaires filled in by 190 family successors and 135 family incumbents. The contribution of this paper lies in the measurement of the importance attached to each quality as well as the implementation of each quality, and this at two different time periods. One of the most striking results is that family business system intelligence ranks very low among important and implemented successor qualities. Nonetheless, we find that the attention for balancing the needs of the different subsystems of the family business significantly increases the financial success of the company.