Implications of intra-family and external ownership transfer of family firms: Short-term and long-term performance differences

Karl Wennberg, Johan Wiklund, Karin Hellerstedt, Mattias Nordqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

We contrast the performance consequences of intra-family versus external ownership transfers. Investigating a sample of all private family firms in Sweden that went through ownership transfers during 10 years, we find that firms transferred to external owners outperform those transferred within the family, but that survival is higher among intra-family transfers. We attribute these performance differences to the long-term orientation of family firms passed on to the next generation and to the entrepreneurial willingness of acquirers to bear uncertainty. Based on distinct ownership transition routes and theoretical mechanisms explaining performance differences, we outline implications for family business and entrepreneurship research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-372
Number of pages21
JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Family firms
  • Long-term orientation
  • Ownership transfer
  • Performance
  • Succession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management

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