New article on benefits and drawbacks of relying on advisors during family firm succession

What are the benefits of trusted advisor involvement during family firm succession? And what are the risks?

Succession is one of the most important but also most difficult parts in the family firm lifecycle. No wonder that many family firms build on the help of external trusted advisors such as lawyers, accountants or bank advisors, to help them managing the succession process. But what are the risks of such involvement? Under what circumstances are advisors beneficial and when are they detrimental? In our conceptual paper my co-author Alexandra Michel and I investigate this phenomenon in a paper forthcoming in Journal of Family Business Strategy.

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11th EIASM Workshop on Family Firm Research Management

Looking very forward to the 11th EIASM workshop on “family firm management research” in Lyon, May 29-30 2015 and feeling honored to give one of the two keynote speeches! The call for papers (extended abstracts) is now open. In this 11th edition, the focal theme of the workshop is “shifting boundaries in family firm research”.

Family firms and disruptive technological change: The family innovator’s dilemma

Every once in a while industries become disrupted. Newcomers from outside the industry begin to commercialize products that are based on a novel technology, have fundamentally different product features or are built on a distinct business model. Established companies typically have problems with adopting such new technologies. As a consequence, they often lose market shares when the innovation becomes mainstream. Look back on Kodak’s prior dominance in the photography market, for instance. Or the prosperity of the book and music retailer Borders before online shopping began to prevail. There are indeed numerous examples of fallen giants.

To help firms overcome those challenges, Harvard professor Clayton Christensen wrote the bestselling books “The innovator’s dilemma” and “The innovator’s solution”. Yet one might ask: How valuable are those insights for family firms? Are challenges for family firms the same as for non-family firms? And can the advices given in the book be transferred to the family business context?

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