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Daughter Succession: A Predominance of Human IssuesAuthor Details
Margaret M.C. HumphreysFielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Margaret M.C. Humphreys
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Acknowledgments (if applicable):
An acknowledgement of gratitude is extended to the reviewers of this article: Your thoughtful and detailed commentscontributed greatly to the final version. Thank-you.
Dr. Humphreys’ career focus is change in complex systems and leadership transition. Raised in an entrepreneurialfamily, her special interest is management and succession of the family enterprise. Margaret has worked extensivelywith business families and consulted to private and public organizations in most sectors. She has worked throughoutCanada, in the U.S.A., Europe, Latin America and Asia. Margaret’s PhD from Fielding Graduate University in SantaBarbara CA is in Human and Organizational Systems, specializing in Family Business Studies. She has taught andguest lectured in Canada and the US.
The research asked: How do daughters take the lead in their family businesses? What are the relevantissues that characterize the succession process for daughters, what are the attributes of daughter successors, andwhat, if any, features distinguish their leadership style?
: Qualitative research: reflective interviews with 14 daughter successors. Thematic data analysis(Roulston, 2010) was used to analyze data, build models and link to previous research.
The shifting landscape of women’s roles in family businesses is evidenced through the experiences of daughters who have taken over the top leadership positions in their family firms. Skill and commitment override gender in successor selection. The women were intrinsically motivated to take over their family businesses and ownedsignificant shares in their firms. The findings confirm the centrality of the successor–incumbent relationship and revealmentoring, frequently by the incumbent, as the principal vehicle for the transfer of business leadership. Emotionalcompetence emerged as a key successor quality.
This research is based on a single perspective, that of the successor. The accounts mayinclude elements of performance, that is, selection of content based on the audience and the participant’s desiredresults.
Provides an alternate view to female invisibility in the family business, and thepractice of primogeniture. New research on succession, women’s roles in family business.
Daughter successors; successor-incumbent relationship; successor qualities