Abstract

Extant research relies on stereotypical role based views of men and women in family business and begins from assumed essentialist sex differences (Hamilton, 2006; 2013; Ahl, 2006). In order to advance the field, family business researchers need to engage in more contemporary debates in gender and feminist theorizing (Hughes et al., 2012). Here, we take a social constructionist view of family business succession, investigating often taken-for-granted norms of or notions about gender. We look at how gendered talk and practice in family businesses contributes to who can be the successor and how succession unfolds. We engage with Bem’s classification of masculine and feminine (1983), Collinson and Hearn’s work (1994) on multiple masculinities as well as Hamilton’s work on gender in family business (2006; 2013) to guide our interpretation.

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