Title: The influence of intangible assets on external succession decisions in small and medium-sized enterprises

Authors: Susanne Durst, Stefan Guldenberg

Addresses: Chair in International Management, University of Liechtenstein, Fuerst-Franz-Josef-Strasse, FL-9490 Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein. ' Chair in International Management, University of Liechtenstein, Fuerst-Franz-Josef-Strasse, FL-9490 Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein

Abstract: External company succession provides an alternative route into entrepreneurship. However, due to a strong focus on new ventures, this form of succession would appear to be less in the public eye. This article endeavours to contribute to changing this situation. In doing so, it explores the meaning of intangible assets in company succession from an external successor perspective. Despite the fact that intangibles are supposedly the key drivers of business performance, the connection between intangibles and external company succession in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has so far been neglected. Our research draws on a quantitative web survey of German trade associations and qualitative interviews with external SME successors. Our findings suggest that intangible assets have a notable influence on the decision of an external successor to take over a company. This research offers new insights into company succession, specifically with regard to the selection process for potential external successors.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; intangible assets; external company succession; business formation; entrepreneurship; selection process.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2010.032538

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2010 Vol.1 No.4, pp.367 - 981

Published online: 06 Apr 2010 *

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