Title: Socio-emotional wealth and successful generational transition in family business: the role of contextual factors

Authors: Valentina Lazzarotti; Eliana Alessandra Minelli; Chiara Morelli

Addresses: Università Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC, Corso G. Matteotti 22, 21053 Castellanza (VA), Italy ' Università Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC, Corso G. Matteotti 22, 21053 Castellanza (VA), Italy ' Università del Piemonte Orientale, Via E. Perrone 18, 28100 Novara, Italy

Abstract: This study aims to provide an innovative interpretation of the evolution of socio-emotional values and their impact on the generational transition. Based on the literature dealing with the socio-emotional wealth (SEW) theory and the evolution of SEW through the generations leading family firms (FFs), the study investigates the contextual conditions, respectively related to family and organisational factors, that interact with SEW and foster the shift to the new generation. The study investigates a sample of 15 family firms in which the generational transition has already taken place. In conclusion, the research supports the hypothesis of a link between the evolution of the young entrepreneurs' values and the successful generational transition and shows that it is not the level of the single socio-emotional component that matters, but rather the complex balance that is produced within each family business, thanks to the interaction between the role of the young entrepreneur on the one hand, and the family and organisational contexts on the other.

Keywords: socio-emotional wealth; SEW; generational transition; family firm; family context; organisational context; emotional attachment; family firm performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIS.2020.107460

International Journal of Transitions and Innovation Systems, 2020 Vol.6 No.3, pp.245 - 264

Received: 02 Aug 2018
Accepted: 02 Mar 2019

Published online: 29 May 2020 *

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