The Enigma of the Family Successor–Firm Performance Relationship: A Methodological Reflection and Reconciliation Attempt

J. P. Ahrens, A. Calabrò, Jolien Huybrechts, M. Woywode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Empirical studies examining firm performance following CEO succession in family firms predominantly document inferior performance of family successors. This evidence is at odds with general theoretical literature that attests a positive effect of family involvement inside the firm. To explore this enigma, we theoretically and empirically disentangle the influence of the CEO attribute family member (i.e., the CEO is affiliated to the family) on post-succession firm performance, from other, distinct CEO attributes (e.g., CEO-related human capital). Our analysis on the individual CEO level shows that after respective controls, the family member attribute is significantly positively related to post-succession firm performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-474
Number of pages38
JournalEntrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • succession
  • family successor
  • firm performance
  • CEO characteristics
  • family firms
  • MANAGEMENT
  • BUSINESS SUCCESSION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
  • SOCIAL-EXCHANGE THEORY
  • UPPER ECHELONS
  • ORGANIZATION
  • AGENCY
  • HUMAN-CAPITAL THEORY
  • OWNERSHIP

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