Assessing the Readiness to Family Firm Succession among CEE Students
Poland, as other transforming economies from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), has a relatively short experience with the development of family firms. The historical discontinuity in private sector was caused by the communist rule in 1945-1989: in that period most of earlier existing private (including family) businesses were nationalized or closed and private entrepreneurial activity was banned. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the free-market economy was re-established in the region. Consequently, the expansion of the private sector in the early 1990s became the main driving force in the economic development of Poland and an entire CEE region. Within the private sector, one of the crucial segments were and still are the family firms. Now, almost 30 years after the start of the post-communist economic transition, many founders of private enterprises face the challenge of a first successful succession within the family business. One of the still under-explored areas in the studies of family firms and the research on family business succession in particular, is the level of the preparedness and the readiness of the new generation to take the lead over the family business. In our explorative study, we investigate the willingness of the potential successors to take over the family firm in the population of students. Based on quantitative analysis, we find a relative reluctance to family firm succession among female respondents, while the average size of the firm is associated with a greater attractiveness of becoming successor for the young generation. (original abstract)
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