Strategy for succession in family owned small businesses as a wicked problem to be tamed

Devins, David and Jones, Brian (2016) Strategy for succession in family owned small businesses as a wicked problem to be tamed. Vezetéstudomány - Budapest Management Review, 47 (11). pp. 4-15. DOI 10.14267/VEZTUD.2016.11.02

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Contemporary strategic-planning processes don’t help family businesses cope with some of the big problems they face. Owner managers admit that they are confronted with issues, such as those associated with succession and inter-generational transfer that cannot be resolved merely by gathering additional data, defining issues more clearly, or breaking them down into small problems. Preparing for succession is often put off or ignored, many planning techniques don’t generate fresh ideas and implementing solutions is often fraught with political peril. This paper presents a framework to explore the idea of wicked problems, its relevance to succession planning in family businesses and its implications for practice and policy. A wicked problem has many and varied elements, and is complex as well as challenging. These problems are different to hard but ordinary problems, which people can solve in a finite time period by applying standard techniques. In this paper the authors argue that the wicked problem of family business succession requires a different approach to strategy, founded on social planning processes to engage multiple stakeholders and reconcile family/business interests to foster a joint commitment to possible ways of resolution. This requires academics and practitioners to re-frame traditional business strategic planning processes to achieve more sustainable family business futures.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:family business, succession, strategy, strategic planning
Subjects:Management, business policy, business strategy
ID Code:2518
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:05 Dec 2016 13:43
Last Modified:21 Dec 2018 15:18

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