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Planning for Growth: Life Stage Differences in Family Firms

Authors

  • Kimberly A. Eddleston,

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    • Kimberly A. Eddleston is the Patrick F. and Helen C. Walsh Research Professor and the Daniel and Dorothy Grady Research Fellow at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, 219 Hayden Hall, Boston, MA 02115-5000, USA.
  • Franz W. Kellermanns,

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    • Franz W. Kellermanns is a Professor of Management at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA, and is an associated Professor at the INTES Center for Family Enterprises, WHU (Otto Beisheim School of Management), Germany.
  • Steven W. Floyd,

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    • Steven W. Floyd is the Eugene M. Isenberg Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 121 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.
  • Victoria L. Crittenden,

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    • Victoria L. Crittenden is a member of the marketing faculty of the Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Fulton 450B, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA.
  • William F. Crittenden

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    • William F. Crittenden is Professor of International Business and Strategy of the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, 101 Hayden Hall, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

  • We would like to thank Jim Chrisman and the participants at the Theories of Family Enterprise 2009 Conference for their suggestions on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Please send correspondence to: Kimberly A. Eddleston, tel.: (617)-373-4014; e-mail: k.eddleston@neu.edu, to Franz W. Kellermanns at franz.kellermanns@whu.edu, to Steven W. Floyd at steven.floyd@unisg.ch, to Victoria L. Crittenden at victoria.crittenden@bc.edu, and to William F. Crittenden at w.crittenden@neu.edu.

Abstract

Applying insights from the generational perspective, this study explores when strategic planning and succession planning are most conducive to privately held family firm growth. The results show that the degree to which strategic planning and succession planning are associated with family firm growth depends on the generation managing the firm. Both forms of planning are most conducive to the growth of first-generation firms; however, neither form of planning confers much growth for second-generation firms. For third-and-beyond-generation firms, the benefits of succession planning appear to reemerge. However, strategic planning is negatively associated with their level of growth.

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