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Does business succession enhance firms? innovation capacity? Results from an exploratory analysis in Italian SMEs

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  • Andrea GANZAROLI

    ()

  • Gianluca FISCATO

    ()

  • Luciano PILOTTI

Abstract

Our main objective with this paper is to explore business transfer as as potential source of innovation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The literature on the subject has mainly focused to business succession as process through which ownership and control is transferred between generation of entrepreneurs. In this paper we argue that nowadays the aim of business succession should not only replace existing entrepreneurial resources, but enhancing firms’ innovation capacity. Our contribution moves into two major directions. The first explores the relationhip between business succession and innovation from a theoretical point of view. The second deepens such an understanding by assessing it on a sample of micro and small enterprises located in Emilia Romagna. We show that business transfer/succession in SMEs is not perceived as potential source of innovation. Business transfer still takes place mainly within the family. SMEs show little propensity to saparte ownership form management as way to enhance firms’ likelihood to survive to business transmission. Senior entrepreneurs’ show little propensity to invest on juniors’ training. As result juniors lack of an autonomous business vision and do not perceive themselves as the main driver of innovation. Such a perspective is even supported by seniors, who do not expect business succession to make any difference on the way business is currently managed

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2006-29.

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Date of creation: 20 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2006-29

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Keywords: family business; succession; small and medium-sized enterprise; innovation;

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  1. Wennekers, Sander & Thurik, Roy, 1999. " Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-55, August.
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  8. Marco CUCCULELLI & Giacinto MICUCCI, 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Inherited Control and Firm Performance in Italian SMEs," Working Papers 258, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Manuela Natario & Joao Pedro Couto & Ascensao Maria Braga & Teresa Maria Tiago, 2011. "Evaluating The Determinants Of National Innovative Capacity Among European Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1342, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Marina Letonja & Mojca Duh & Zdenka Ženko, 2012. "Experiential Knowledge as well as Social Capital of Founders for Innovativeness of Successors in Smaller Family Firms," Proceedings- 10th International Conference on Mangement, Enterprise and Benchmarking (MEB 2012), Óbuda University, Keleti Faculty of Business and Management.

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