The purpose of this exploratory study was to better understand the development of successors in the small family business, includ- ing their approach to the leadership of the firm. It examined variables (and their relationships) that help to explain family business successor leadership. A case study approach was followed, using grounded theory analysis of qualitative interviews of the top managers of six family businesses. It provided six propositions for future research—namely, concerning positive parent–child relationships, acquiring knowledge, long-term orientation, cooperation, successor roles, and risk orientation.
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