Graduate School of Business
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
family business, succession planning, leadership
Rogers, Elissa A., "Family Business Leadership Succession" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3382.
Family businesses frequently experience business failure following succession from the first generation. Family businesses that lack effective succession plans have low sustainability beyond the second or third generations of family leadership. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore how to reduce family business failure following generational succession. Three theoretical models were included in the conceptual framework: (a) Lewin’s three-step change model, (b) Bass’s full range of leadership model, and (c) Rumelt’s strategic kernel. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews and internal documents relevant to the succession process. Six themes emerged: (a) reason for succession, (b) necessary leadership characteristics, (c) the succession process, (d) resistance to succession, and (e) the value of external help. Key recommendations are that family businesses should start the succession planning process early, identify growth areas for potential successors, and solicit help from a variety of external sources.