Transmission of family businesses in France

Katherine Gundolf, Olivier Meier, Audrey Missonier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this research paper is to show to what extent psychological, cultural and behavioural factors can influence on the succession process in the particular case of family-run businesses? Design/methodology/approach: Data on 12 directors of family-run SME were grouped together on the basis of questions derived from the research question. To do this, the authors operated using a principle guided by cross referencing responses, that is, finding the incidence of elements that make it possible to justify substantively the existence of the category and the common existence of these elements within the cases studied. Findings: The thematic analysis performed made it possible to highlight five main motives for cultural and psychological resistance in former directors: the loss of power and influence, the risk of deconstruction, the loss of professional and social legitimacy, the loss of references and meaning, and the refusal of old age and death. Originality/value: The results show that transferors search for connections in the aim of identifying common points of anchor, affinities on to which they can project themselves as an element of continuity or an extension of their personality. The paper can in particular note the importance given to cultural proximity and to previous professional relations with the transferor. These criteria, unlike personal factors, are of the interpersonal type and thus deeply imprinted on the transferor's most intimate desires and motivations, including the main desire, which is to search for all that can make possible an extension of himself within his company and thus ensure the permanence of his values and his time at the organisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-71
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Family firms
  • France
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises


Dive into the research topics of 'Transmission of family businesses in France'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this