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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

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea GANZAROLI & Gianluca FISCATO & Luciano PILOTTI, 2006. "Does business succession enhance firms’ innovation capacity? Results from an exploratory analysis in Italian SMEs," Departmental Working Papers 2006-29, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2006-29
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    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2006/DEMM-2006_029wp.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Asheim, Bjorn T & Isaksen, Arne, 2002. "Regional Innovation Systems: The Integration of Local 'Sticky' and Global 'Ubiquitous' Knowledge," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 77-86, January.
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    7. 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. Ivan DE NONI & Luigi ORSI & Diego TAVECCHIA, 2007. "Benchmarking for SMEs: toward a competitive rating system," Departmental Working Papers 2007-42, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    2. Ivan DE NONI & Antonio LORENZON & Luigi ORSI, 2007. "Measuring and managing credit risk in SMEs: a quantitative and qualitative rating model," Departmental Working Papers 2007-36, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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