n Acta Commercii - An assessment of the determinants of successor development in family businesses

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2413-1903
  • E-ISSN: 1684-1999


The primary objective of this study is twofold: Firstly, to assess some of the determinants of successor development in family businesses with the focus on the role of the senior generation family members, and secondly, to make practical recommendations on actions that families can take to ensure successful management succession.

The construct validity of the measuring scale was assessed by means of an exploratory factor analysis and by calculating Cronbach alpha coefficients. Thereafter, the correlation between the variables was explored by means of correlation analysis, t-tests and effect sizes.
In this study the exploratory factor analysis provides some evidence of construct validity, but further research is needed before the measuring scale can be utilised to diagnose these issues in small and medium-sized family businesses. It is recommended that more advanced statistical procedures for scale validation, such as structural equation modelling, should be utilised in further development of the questionnaire. Supplementary research on the use of the measuring scale is also necessary to refine its norms.
The importance for family businesses is that a better understanding of the determinants of the senior generation's role in the development of the prospective successor could contribute to the successful transfer of the business from the senior to the younger generation family members. It is, however, important to provide feedback on the diagnosis based on the proposed scale to individual family businesses.
Understanding the determinants of the role of the senior generation owner-manager in the development of the prospective successor is important to sensitise both role-players', as well as the senior and younger generations regarding their expectations, fears and needs in the process. This makes this measuring scale a useful tool to identify the state of these factors in the family business.
This study confirms the important role that the senior generation family members play in the development of the younger generation successors to ensure that the prospected successor is competent to successfully manage the family business after management succession and to ensure the sustainability of the family business.

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