Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences among (potential) successors of Dutch family firms with respect to education, self‐perceived capabilities and ownership ambition. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical analysis – which includes correlations, t ‐test and logistic regression analysis – is inspired by several theoretical perspectives used in previous studies and based on a sample of 232 (potential) successors who filled in a questionnaire. Findings – The results show that there is a clear gender difference regarding ownership; men strive more often for full ownership, whereas women opt for shared ownership, even when controlling for relevant variables such as the presence of children. Research limitations/implications – Future research should address the precise reasons why female successors prefer shared ownership. Particularly, it would be interesting to include the impact of the institutional environment, for example the specific Dutch working culture, where the majority of women works part‐time. Practical implications – Shared ownership might be more complicated in terms of governance and management than full ownership. Social implications – Opportunities for shared ownership might stimulate more women to take over the family firm, and therefore contribute to more diversity among family business owners. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the still limited knowledge on gender differences among successors of family firms.
Journal of Family Business Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 8, 2014
Keywords: Family business; Succession planning; Generation and gender