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Knowledge transfer practices in small Swedish family businesses
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Research has shown that knowledge transfer is a crucial aspect of a successful succession process in family businesses as knowledge is considered to be an important part of the competitive advantage of family businesses. It is apparent in literature that knowledge transfer is highly affected by family members and their relationships.

Problem: The academic research is not presenting the methods or practices used to transfer knowledge between the incumbent and the successor in small family businesses. Moreover, the studies are more concentrated on the succession processes and not on knowledge transfer practices. This means there is a gap in the theory.

Purpose: To provide further understanding of the existing knowledge transfer practices in small family businesses, the purpose of this thesis is to increase academic understanding of the knowledge transfer in small Swedish family businesses in the succession process.

Research questions: To fulfill the purpose, the study aimed to answer to two research questions: How do small Swedish family businesses prepare and implement their knowledge transfer processes? How do the small Swedish family businesses select the relevant knowledge to be transferred?

Method: Theoretical characteristics of knowledge transfer in family business were shown by conducting a thorough literature research. The empirical research was conducted as a qualitative multiple case study including a total of five case companies and seven research respondents. Data was collected from semi-structured interviews and studying secondary documentation.

Conclusions: The study shows that knowledge transfer practices are not planned in the small family businesses. The transfer is a subconscious process affected by open communication between the family members. The preparation of knowledge transfer is affected by readiness and existing level of knowledge of the successor. The relationship between the incumbent and the successor was central in terms the implementation of knowledge transfer, and the most frequent methods used were storytelling, written material and examples. The relevant knowledge was selected subconsciously. The motivation to select and learn the relevant knowledge came from the successor through curiosity to the family business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , p. 67
Keywords [en]
knowledge transfer, family business, succession
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-26853ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20150002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-26853DiVA, id: diva2:815361
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-05-30 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf