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The succession process in Chinese family firms: A guanxi perspective

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  • Junsheng Dou

    ()

  • Shengxiao Li

    ()

Abstract

Intergenerational succession is a principal cause of the high failure rate among first- and second-generation family businesses. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the complexity and dynamics of the succession process by examining the role of guanxi. This paper uses an exploratory case study of six Chinese family firms. The results of this research indicate that (1) the succession process of entrepreneurs’ guanxi networks can be divided into four representative phases, namely, preheating, triggering, readjusting, and reconstructing; and (2) each phase requires performing some characteristic tasks. Such tasks include the cross-generational teaching and learning of guanxi philosophy, the deconstruction of the profile of guanxi networks, the introduction of the next generation to existing guanxi parties, the cross-generational role readjustment in guanxi building and management, the renewal of guanxi parties, and the rebuilding of guanxi net structures. The results of this study also provide an extended theoretical model that helps to explain the relationship between the intergenerational transfer of entrepreneurs’ guanxi networks and the transfer of leadership. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Junsheng Dou & Shengxiao Li, 2013. "The succession process in Chinese family firms: A guanxi perspective," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 893-917, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:asiapa:v:30:y:2013:i:3:p:893-917
    DOI: 10.1007/s10490-012-9287-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jing Zhao & Michael Carney & Shubo Zhang & Limin Zhu, 2020. "How does an intra-family succession effect strategic change and performance in China’s family firms?," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 363-389, June.
    2. Majid Ghorbani & Michael Carney, 2016. "The changing face of China’s billionaire-entrepreneurs," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 881-902, December.
    3. Shihui Chen & Hanqing Chevy Fang & Niall G. MacKenzie & Sara Carter & Ling Chen & Bingde Wu, 2018. "Female leadership in contemporary Chinese family firms," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 181-211, March.
    4. Michael Carney, 2015. "Capacity building at the Asia Pacific Journal of Management," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 827-833, December.
    5. Shen, Na & Su, Jun, 2017. "Religion and succession intention - Evidence from Chinese family firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 150-161.
    6. Carney, Michael & Zhao, Jing & Zhu, Limin, 2019. "Lean innovation: Family firm succession and patenting strategy in a dynamic institutional landscape," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4).
    7. Hongjuan Zhang & Rong Han & Liang Wang & Runhui Lin, 0. "Social capital in China: a systematic literature review," Asian Business & Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 0, pages 1-46.
    8. Ting, Su-Hie, 2020. "Modes of Value Transfer in Chinese Family Business in Malaysia," Asian Business Review, Asian Business Consortium, vol. 10(1), pages 29-36.

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    Keywords

    Chinese family firm; Succession; Guanxi ;

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