Title: In search of family business continuity: the case of transgenerational family entrepreneurship

Authors: Anne Laakkonen, Juha Kansikas, Heli Valtonen

Addresses: School of Business and Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 35 FIN-40014, Finland; Faculty of Business Economics, Hasselt University, Agoralaan – Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. ' School of Business and Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 35 FIN-40014, Finland; Mendel University in Brno, Zemidìlska 1/1665, 613 00 Brno, The Czech Republic. ' Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 35 FIN-40014, Finland

Abstract: This qualitative case study analyses continuity of transgenerational entrepreneurship in the family business. Transgenerational entrepreneurship is based on multigenerational, and in this particular firm, on the founder and next generation, business activities in the same family business. Methodologically, the data was collected by interviewing members of two generations of Imagon Ltd.; the founder, and his sons. Imagon Ltd. shows signs of transgenerational continuity. It did not start off that way in the founder|s mind; his desire was just to work for himself and fulfil his own visions. It was only much later that the prospect of defining his company as a family business entered the picture during which time the succession process started naturally. The potential constraint for transgenerational value creation is the possible loss of next generation interest and therefore having no one to take over at that time.

Keywords: family influences; transgenerational entrepreneurship; family businesses; families; business continuity; multigenerational businesses; business founders; next generation interest; business activities; Imagon; Finland; illuminated advertising; Sweden; Northern Europe; transgenerational continuity; succession processes; potential constraints; value creation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; R&D; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.040760

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.13 No.2, pp.193 - 207

Published online: 20 Jun 2011 *

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