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When the successor becomes the true leader of a family business?



Objective: The aim of presented paper is to try to answer to the questions: what are the factors that facilitate or inhibit the process of becoming the leader for international family business, and what are the major successor’s characteristics enabling successor to be a true leader of international family business?

Research Design & Methods: The in-depth interview method was used.

Findings: Successor’s characteristics such as: integrity, commitment to the family and family business, ability to command the respect of the personnel, decisiveness and interpersonal skills, proved to be relevant.

Contribution & Value Added: With the study, author aim to contribute to a better understanding of factors connected with successor’s passage from manager to leader in international family business. the successors need to feel responsibility for the family. Secondly, he/she should has the deciding power in some part of the business. As case study shows, conflicts and interactions between family members, when well-managed, might be source of new ideas and solutions. Next to qualifications and constant learning and improving skills, there is also a need for being open minded and ready to change.


succession process, successor, family business, business transfers, generational change


Author Biography

Alicja Hadryś-Nowak

Associate Professor of the Department of International Management at Faculty of International Business and Economics of Poznań University of Economics. PhD in economics. Her current research interests include management of family-owned businesses, internationalisation and branding and women entrepreneurship. Member of IFERA since 2010. Visiting Professor at Lethbridge University (Canada), Universita Politecnica delle Marche (Italty) and Jonkoping Business School (Sweden). Expert in Family Business Institute in Poznań.


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