Title: Overqualified and disadvantaged: exploring the barriers to growth of family businesses to second-generation leaders

Authors: Craig E. Armstrong

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, University of Alabama, Box 870225, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA

Abstract: According to popular perception, family-owned businesses do not grow. One explanation for this perception is that the next generation of business leadership is 'weak'. This explanation is both untrue and unfair. The purpose of this proposed paper is to explore the 1) human capital factors that affect differences in generational leadership effectiveness; 2) competitive factors that can hinder growth in family businesses; 3) the effects of prospect theory on the decision making of the second generation of leadership. In contrast to popular perception, I argue that the second generation of leadership is better prepared to operate - and even grow - the family business, but that the success of the first generation of leadership dramatically constrains the decision making space for the second generation.

Keywords: family business; succession; human capital; prospect theory; small business strategy; strategic management; firm performance; entrepreneurship; second generation leaders; generational leadership effectiveness; decision making.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2012.048845

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2012 Vol.17 No.2, pp.160 - 175

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 24 Aug 2012 *

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