Skip to main content

External publication | 2024 Family business successions between desire and reality

Family business successions are commonly considered as one of the most critical events of any family business. Yet, despite extensive research, current evidence on the actual extent to which family business owners accomplish, adapt, or even abandon their initial succession plans is astonishingly still lacking. This paper addresses this issue by overcoming some methodological limitations of previous research on family business successions. The results provide robust insights into a wide mismatch between desire and reality regarding family business succession planning. Thus, transgenerational continuation of family businesses should not be taken for granted. A considerable proportion of business owners abandon their initial succession plans, do not realize the succession in the intended timeframe, or close their business ultimately. There is also a remarkable number of unintended business transfers which have received little attention in research to date.

Pahnke, A.; Schlepphorst, S.; Schlömer-Laufen, N. (2024): Family business successions between desire and reality, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Volume 21, e00457.



André Pahnke
Tel. +49 228 7299721

Profile of André Pahnke

Dr. Susanne Schlepphorst
Tel. +49 228 7299766

Profile of Dr. Susanne Schlepphorst

Nadine Schlömer-Laufen
Tel. +49 228 7299725

Profile of Nadine Schlömer-Laufen