Keep the conversation going : a study of conversational spaces during family business succession
SubjectsN220 Institutional Management
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AbstractThis practice doctorate study addresses the question of succession in family business, and whether it is possible to facilitate the succession process and enhance family relations by working in a systemic, conversational and dialogical way. The high percentage of successions in family businesses which fail and result in closed down businesses has led to extensive research and caused public debate in Sweden. This study contains of four sections. The first section gives an introduction to my felt need of developing the facilitation of the succession process in business families. It also contains a philosophical background to the systemic way of working and a presents my ontology, epistemology and methods for my study and its ethical considerations. The second section puts my study in a wider perspective of this study with a short presentation of the field of family business research; there are interviews with mainstream consultants that are elaborated on and lastly there is a gender perspective on family business consultations. The eight essays in the third section portray my action research into my facilitation of the succession process in the Bjärges family. The succession process began at the end of 2006 and lasted almost five years. Facilitation was performed during the first two and a half years and the last follow-up conversation was held in the beginning of 2011. The Bjärges essays are written in a generative and reflexive way by means of radical, social poetics thus allowing personal involvement in the text. Some of the essays study the succession process from the perspective of dialogical moments; a couple of them reflect on the succession process in a longer perspective and finally there are follow-up conversations with the family members. The fourth section deals with knowledge gained from working with this study, knowledge I have taken into my practice where I facilitate family members to make their own decisions. It also includes my reflections on theory and on differences in consultancy to family business. Accountants and legal advisors focus on what is best for business, while facilitators working in the dialogical way have family relations at heart. This work proposes a 3rd Way, a new way of facilitating and supporting business families by collaboration of different competences in multi-professional teams. Thus both business and family relations would be addressed.
CitationKebbe, L. (2011) 'Keep the conversation going : a study of conversational spaces during family business succession'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionProfessional doctorate In systemic practice 2011 University of Bedfordshire
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