What is it about?

Second- and next-generation members of a family business who want to become an entrepreneur have the options of succeeding in the family business or founding a new venture. We disentangle the interplay among the support from the family, and the human capital, the motivations and the attitudes of the next-generation member in the choice of either mode of entry into entrepreneurship.

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Why is it important?

We identify profiles of founders and successors, characterized by the coherent combination of the determinants of the mode of entry into entrepreneurship. Previous studies, instead, focused on their net effect, failing to appreciate complementarities and trade-offs. The profiles of founders and successors differ quite neatly. The professional experience of successors takes place exclusively within the family firm (except for those suddenly called to succeed), while founders have worked in other firms before becoming entrepreneurs. However, the extent of the support from the family and the individual goals, attitudes and motivations is quite heterogeneous among founders and successors.


This paper highlights that succession in the family business is an entrepreneurial process. As such, we should look much closer at the individual level to understand why some next-generation members decide to leave the family business to start a new one.

Giancarlo Lauto
Universita degli Studi di Udine

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Fly Away From the Nest? A Configurational Analysis of Family Embeddedness and Individual Attributes in the Entrepreneurial Entry Decision by Next-Generation Members, Family Business Review, May 2018, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0894486518773867.
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