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Trust in Family Business: A Study of Employees' Trust for the New CEO Post-succession
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Trust serves as a great competitive advantage for firms, since it leads to more positive attitudes and increased efficiency. What is widely known is that trust is very decisive in family businesses, since the business already from the start has the family as shared history. There has been a lot of research within the area of family businesses and how these firms better can survive successions. However, the research has mostly highlighted CEOs and owners’ part in the succession process instead of focusing on how employees contribute to the outcome of the succession. As research discuss, it is important to reflect and study how trust is developed for a new CEO post-succession. This thesis will therefore combine these topics in order to study how a new CEO can achieve trust post-succession.

Purpose: The thesis aims to study if and how CEOs have achieved trust among employees’ postsuccession. Furthermore, the thesis will explore if there exist differences between hiring a CEO that is a family-member or a non-family member when it comes to trust as well as how prior involvement affects the issue of trust among the employees.

Method: The thesis uses qualitative research with semi-structured interviews. Furthermore, a multiple case study design has been used. For the collection of the data, we interviewed four family businesses, where Company A has a CEO that is a family-member with prior involvement, Company B has a CEO that is a family-member without prior involvement, Company C has a non-family member as CEO with prior involvement and Company D has a non-family member as CEO without prior involvement.

Conclusion: The results showed that the context of the transition was decisive regarding trust for the new CEO among the employees. For instance, the study showed that when the performance of the predecessor had been bad, the employees trusted the new CEO more, since they believed that a change was necessary for the company’s survival. Furthermore, the study observed a pattern regarding how the management transition was implemented and the achievement of trust. Prior involvement and mentoring was two of the contributing factors to why a new CEO achieved trust among the employees, as well as being a family-member. Another pattern this study showed was the connection of how close the employees’ work to the CEO and the level of trust they had for the CEO. In other words, the different levels of trust for the new CEO among the employees in same company had a lot to do with the employee’s position.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 87 p.
Keyword [en]
Family Business, Management Transition, Post-succession, Trust
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35617ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20170447OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-35617DiVA: diva2:1102697
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Supervisors
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Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-05-30 Last updated: 2017-06-26Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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