Title: The transfer of small and medium-sized Japanese family businesses to the younger generation: narratives by student-successors

Authors: Katsuyuki Kamei; Sonia Boussaguet; Aude D'Andria; Romain Jourdan

Addresses: Faculty of Safety Science (FSS), Kansai University, 7-1 Hakubai-cho, Takatsuki, 569-1098, Osaka, Japan ' Neoma Business School – Reims Campus, 59, rue Pierre Taittinger 51100 Reims, France ' Laboratoire en Innovation, Technologies, Economie et Management (LITEM), University of Evry Val d'Essonne, 2 rue du Facteur Cheval 91 025 Evry cedex, France ' Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, 6 Kasame-cho, Saiin, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, 615-8558, Japan

Abstract: Traditionally, Japanese SMEs are transferred to the children by a succession process. This article deals with how the family business prepares for this succession. It is based on an analysis of the life narratives of four successors studying at the Kansai University in the Faculty of Safety Science. The findings show the importance of tradition and filial duty in the choice of the successor; the importance of the extended family; the respect of each person's role; and also the predominance of a strategy aiming to integrate the successor within the family business progressively.

Keywords: business transfer; Japan; family business; life narratives; longitudinal method; family firms; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; Japan; younger generation; student successors; tradition; filial duty; extended family; role respect; integration strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2016.075017

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2016 Vol.27 No.4, pp.525 - 541

Received: 21 Apr 2015
Accepted: 22 Apr 2015

Published online: 09 Feb 2016 *

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