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Managing tensions as paradox in CEO succession: the case of nonfamily CEO in a family firm

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Managing tensions as paradox in CEO succession: the case of nonfamily CEO in a family firm

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Samenvatting

An increasing number of family firms chooses to select a nonfamily CEO for the highest executive office. However, appointing a nonfamily CEO in a family firm tends to give rise to tensions that need to be managed for effective work relationships between the nonfamily CEO and the family owners. We draw on insights from the paradox literature to better understand these tensions and how they are managed. We performed real-time, in-depth longitudinal case research into one family firm which appointed a nonfamily CEO, and we studied tensions in the work relationships between the nonfamily CEO and the family owners for a period of 3 years. We identified tensions arising in four specific areas after the transition from a family to a nonfamily CEO: professionalisation, collaboration, resource allocation and role transition. We found new insights regarding how an advisory board can provide support for the family owners in building work relationships with the nonfamily CEO, which makes the tensions salient and possible to manage through a paradox approach. These results inform a perspective of paradox management that shows by whom and how the different tensions are managed, i.e., through changes in behaviour and/or through changes in the underlying subsystems of the family firm.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Windesheim
LectoraatFamiliebedrijven
Gepubliceerd inInternational Small Business Journal Sage Publishing, London, Vol. 38, Uitgave: 3, Pagina's: 211-242
Jaar2020
TypeArtikel
ISSN1741-2870
DOI10.1177/0266242619898609
TaalEngels

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