Predictors of Later-Generation Family Members' Commitment to Family Enterprises


  • We gratefully acknowledge the guidance and insightful suggestions provided by the editor, Donald Neubaum, and two anonymous reviewers. We appreciate the funding support received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Swiss National Science Foundation, and Handelsbanken and the Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CEFEO) in Sweden.


This study examines the antecedents of different bases of organizational commitment and intention to stay of later-generation family members who are currently working in their family firm. Evidence from 199 Canadian and Swiss firms indicates that when these individuals' identity and career interests are aligned with their family enterprise, they experience affective commitment. Family expectations are associated with normative commitment. Individuals who are concerned about losing inherited financial wealth or who perceive a lack of alternative career paths stay with the family enterprise because of continuance commitment. Finally, individuals driven by desire or obligation exhibit low turnover intentions.