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The second generation in a family business: an agent of change or continuator of family tradition?

The second generation in a family business: an agent of change or continuator of family tradition? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the role of the first and second generations in the process of internationalization of a family business active in the SME sector in Poland. Design/methodology/approach – Conducted research was qualitative in character. The research method used was the case study. A total of six case studies were developed that demonstrate the experiences of Polish exporters – family companies in the SME sector. The primary research tool was the unstructured questionnaire‐based interview. Interviews were conducted over the years 2008‐2009. The group of examined respondents included both the first and second generation. Findings – Analysis of the developed case studies indicates that it was the first generation that was responsible for making decision and undertaking operations in the first phase. With time, that generation kept only decision‐related responsibilities. The second generation tends to continue tradition rather than being an agent of change. Originality/value – The main contribution of this paper has been to make a characterization of the process of internationalization of family businesses in the SME sector in Poland – a country undergoing radical systemic transition. Its large‐scale effect is the commencement of the process of creating companies, including family businesses. On the other hand, it makes possible the defining of the role of the second generation in the process of internationalization of family businesses, regardless of whether that generation is a continuator of the initiative of the first generation or is itself the initiator of changes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Technology Management in China Emerald Publishing

The second generation in a family business: an agent of change or continuator of family tradition?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-8779
DOI
10.1108/JTMC-07-2013-0032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the role of the first and second generations in the process of internationalization of a family business active in the SME sector in Poland. Design/methodology/approach – Conducted research was qualitative in character. The research method used was the case study. A total of six case studies were developed that demonstrate the experiences of Polish exporters – family companies in the SME sector. The primary research tool was the unstructured questionnaire‐based interview. Interviews were conducted over the years 2008‐2009. The group of examined respondents included both the first and second generation. Findings – Analysis of the developed case studies indicates that it was the first generation that was responsible for making decision and undertaking operations in the first phase. With time, that generation kept only decision‐related responsibilities. The second generation tends to continue tradition rather than being an agent of change. Originality/value – The main contribution of this paper has been to make a characterization of the process of internationalization of family businesses in the SME sector in Poland – a country undergoing radical systemic transition. Its large‐scale effect is the commencement of the process of creating companies, including family businesses. On the other hand, it makes possible the defining of the role of the second generation in the process of internationalization of family businesses, regardless of whether that generation is a continuator of the initiative of the first generation or is itself the initiator of changes.

Journal

Journal of Technology Management in ChinaEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 4, 2013

Keywords: Family business; Internationalization; International entrepreneurship; Poland; First and second generation

References