Abstract

Much entrepreneurship research focuses on new business start-ups. However, entrepreneurship may also involve the taking over and renewing of established businesses (cf. Parker & van Praag, 2006). A large share of all privately held firms in many developed nations are likely to shift ownership within the near future. Successful transition of these firms may be critical for national economic well being and growth. To date, there is limited knowledge on the influences of the exit routes chosen (DeTienne, 2008), what individuals or firms that are likely to take over these firms and subsequent effects on firm performance. Consequently, there is an acute need for studies investigating how firms might be successfully transferred to new owners and the implications of different transition routes. In this study, we investigate the effects of two succession routes (family vs. non-family) on firm performance.

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