A Contractual Perspective on Succession in Family Firms
Abstract This paper analyses succession in family firms from a contractual perspective. A firm is regarded as a nexus of contractual relations with owners, employees, suppliers of goods and services and customers. These contractual parties are in differing degrees tied to the firm through asset specificities. Succession can affect the value of such assets. In this sense they become stakeholders with vested interests in the succession process. The theoretical discussion of affected stakeholders is backed up by a survey study of 143 Swedish family-owned businesses that have been subject to succession. The results show that the opinions of close shareholders such as family members and incumbent mangers as well as those of other stakeholders such as suppliers and customers are important.
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