Initiating Family Succession: Successor Affective Commitment, Influence Tactics, and Satisfaction in Family Firm Succession Processes

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Drawing from six family business cases studies, we employ research on social influence and social exchanges to create a model of the dynamics associated with a family successor's push for succession. Building theory from data in our cases, we propose that while successors may not have power from resource control and dependencies that they can guide succession outcomes from social influence. Affective commitment guides successors toward more consensual influence tactics. Yet resistance from the founder draws attention to differences and can escalate to harder social influence tactics. This leads to the use of more coercive means of influence. In the end, affective commitment and influence tactics help explain how successors can shape succession outcomes and differences in successor satisfaction with the succession process, especially under circumstances with conflict-laden social exchanges.


Southern Management Association Annual Conference (SMA)


Charlotte, NC