Publikation: Promotion “Topics in Family Business Succession, Technological Foresight & Innovation”

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Am 31.5.2016 schloss Jan Zybura seine Promotion unter dem Titel “Topics in Family Business Succession, Technological Foresight & Innovation” mit der Bestnote "summa cum laude" erfolgreich ab. Die Dissertationsschrift befasst sich in den ersten 3 Kapiteln mit dem Thema Nachfolge in Familienunternehmen und in weiteren 3 Kapiteln mit der Entwicklung neuer technologischer Felder und der Frage, ob und unter welchen Umständen das Silicon Valley replizierbar ist. Im Folgenden finden Sie das Abstract der Dissertationsschrift (in englischer Sprache) und Verweise auf die bereits veröffentlichten Kapitel.

“The first focus area of this doctoral thesis by publication deals with chief executive officer (CEO) succession in family firms (Chapters 1 to 3). Whereas a substantial body of organizational research has examined CEO succession, what role predecessors retain following leadership transition has long been not addressed by management scholars (Chapter 1). This is surprising given that this transition period and the way predecessors and successors interact can have long-lasting implications for the well-being of the organization, such as organizational change, innovation, and firm performance. Empirical research on post-succession innovation is also still largely unexplored (Chapter 2), especially regarding the succession context and the outgoing CEO’s role therein. The family firm context offers a highly intriguing context to study CEO transition: Management and ownership coincide, which results in a high predecessor discretion power. Thus, in privately held family firms, predecessor preferences and the consequences of a predecessor’s potential post-succession role in the firms are prone to be even more essential than in their publicly traded non-family counterpart. Whether a family successor taking over the business is either a blessing or a curse has long been debated in the academic literature and we put this debate into new light by providing a more in-depth investigation on the firm performance impact of family vs. non-family succession and the role of the underlying family attribute (Chapter 3).

The second focus area (Chapters 4 to 6) deals with technological foresight and innovation and loosely connects to the family business innovation perspective from a more general entrepreneurial lens. We combine qualitative research methods with conceptual work and develop a new tool for technological foresight and apply it to the example of 3D printing (Chapter 4). Science Fiction Prototyping (SFP) is a tool for technological foresight that fosters creativity and takes into account the future context of radical innovation including how society will interact with this technology. It helps to understand that radically new technologies we are developing today need to meet their future context. In a next step, we consider how a new technological field such as digital manufacturing (including the 3D printing example) can emerge (Chapter 5). At hand of the DIGINOVA process, a consortium-based approach to foster digital fabrication, we show how collective expectations can be transformed into more concrete outcomes by developing strategic agendas. Then, we take a more top-level entrepreneurial ecosystem perspective by investigating whether and, if so, how Silicon Valley can be replicated. Within each focus area, theoretical foundations and analytic approaches overlap largely. Both focus areas and the individual papers therein are emerging field with intriguing topics of a high theoretical and practical relevance.”

Im Rahmen der Promotion hat Jan Zybura ein Forschungssemester als Visiting Student Researcher an der Stanford University verbracht. Zudem konnte er seine Arbeit in den unterschiedlichen Entwicklungsstadien auf zahlreichen nationalen (z.B. Konferenz der deutschsprachigen Forschungszentren und Institute für Familienunternehmen) und internationalen Konferenzen (z.B. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Family Enterprise Research Conference, European Academy of Management, European Economic Association) vorstellen.

Bereits veröffentlichte Kapitel:

Kapitel 4: The role of context in science fiction prototyping: The digital industrial revolution (

Kapitel 5: An alignment approach for an industry in the making: DIGINOVA and the case of digital fabrication (

Kapitel 6: Replicating Silicon Valley: talent and techno-management in a culture of serendipity (



Initiativen und Portale des ifm:
Dr. Jan Zybura