Journal Article coauthored by Jan Zybura, Jan-Philipp Ahrens, Baris Istipliler, Michael Woywode and Marc Kowalzick is accepted by Journal of General Management

2 Bilder
Titled as “It takes two to Tango - Conceptualizing the “succession dance” in family firms through social exchange theory”, the new paper is coauthored by ifm researchers Jan-Philipp Ahrens, Baris Istipliler and Michael Woywode as well as ifm Alumni Jan Zybura and Marc Kowalzick (Rotterdam School of Management).

The study focuses on “succession dance”—a phase of joint successor and predecessor activity inside the firm and illustrates the role of prior social exchanges between successor and predecessor in its development. Researchers show that succession dance process in family firms are majorly guided by altruism, friendship, or partnership (i.e., a generalized exchange relationship) as well as a professional need for informational and material social exchanges at the firm-level (i.e., a restricted exchange relationship). The article published in Journal of General Management adopts a mixed methods approach utilizing quantitative data on 522 CEO successions in family firms and qualitative data from 34 in-depth interviews. Beyond shedding light on the altruistic versus transactional motivations for predecessors to stay active, results of the study also contribute to the growing debate on the positive versus negative effects of prolonged predecessor involvement.

The study is published with an open access license and can be accessed using the following link:



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