Abstract

This study examines the relationship between successor characteristics, transfer planning characteristics and post-transfer profitability within Dutch SMEs. On the one hand, based on the resource dependency view, it is assumed that successors with more knowledge and experience, derived from work experience from outside the target firm, will be able to extract higher rents from the firm than those with less (diverse) work experience. On the other hand, based on the knowledge management literature, and in particular, concepts such as tacit knowledge, this research makes the contrasting prediction that post-transfer profitability is likely to be higher in firms where the successor is an insider and is related to the predecessor. Moreover, this paper proposes, based on the theory of planned behavior, that having a written succession plan and strategic intent both have a positive association with post-transfer profitability.

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