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Succession as a critical moment in a family firm: evidences from case studies. For most family and closely held businesses, planning for succession is the toughest and most critical challenge they face. Yet succession planning can also be a great opportunity to maximize opportunities and create a multi-generational institution that embodies the family’s values and mission for generations to come. Through this paper we would like to understand and identify best practices in order to manage this critical event in a family firm. We would like also to identify the worst practices that firms have to avoid in order to successfully go through the succession planning.
Women in family firms: a literature review. Especially in the past, woman’s professional capabilities and competencies were mostly ignored both in family and nonfamily business. Many wives and daughters and women in general had played several roles in firms but generally they are felt like invisible, with no consideration and no monetary gain. In spite of that fact, women are a strong presence in family-owned firms, particularly those founded during and after the 1950s. Commonly they were not respected and they had no chance to show their capabilities. Due to this” invisibility”, studies on gender in family business and the role of women are quite recent. Considering the recent literature it is possible to identify new evolution: for instance women’s representation in roles related to ownership and governance is increasing and women play a key role shaping the founding and development of many private family firms, both behind the scenes and in the front line running of family firms. Taking into account previous contributions, the current work aims to better understand the state of the art about research in this field and future directions.This review shows a brand new evolution concerning specially the women’s involvement in family firms. As several authors have discussed the opportunities and potential obstacles concerning women’s visibility and involvement, the current work groups accordingly the different contribution. Then a research framework is proposed, that summarizes more in depth relevant variables and relations among variables, when studying the role of women in family business. Each quadrant/variable of our research framework may represent a specific research stream, that can be coped with using different theories and methods, consistent with the analyzed issues. It can also be used to give a clearer picture of the issues to be managed and relations among them to family business’ owners, managers, consultants, and policy makers.
The role of women in family business: evidence from the Italian context (gender impact). Discussions about how best to support the growth of women’s participation in enterprises have been largely conflated with much wider debates about the role of women in society and in the economy (Carter, Mwaura, Ram, Trehan, 2015). Women have been economically active since 11th century, however, especially in the past, women’s professional capabilities and competencies were mostly ignored, both in family firms, and in non-family business. Women in general, had played several roles in firms, but often they were invisible, with no consideration and no monetary gain. Women commonly they were not respected and they had no chance to show their capabilities (Dumas, 1998).In today’s world of family ambition and increasing gender neutrality, women’s roles encompass higher achievement in organizational hierarchies (Aronoff, 1998). Particularly in the last decades, great advancement in the involvement of women in entrepreneurial and managerial roles, especially in family owned businesses, has been achieved, and the situation is changing fast. Women are a strong presence in family-owned firms, particularly those founded during and after the 1950s (Dumas, 1998).Even though women CEOs and founders are an emerging phenomenon (Dumas, 1998), gender stereotypes are still quite strong when we look at the possibility of women occupying top management positions; nowadays, still many obstacles, stereotypes and mistrust are preventing women from reaching important positions.The aim of this paper is to define the women’s role in family business and to better understand obstacles and possible solution.This paper is based on the framework proposed by Martinez Jimenez (2009), and updated with new articles and trends occurred in the last years. The topics were articulated according to categories proposed by Martinez Jimenez (2009): obstacles (women’s invisibility and the glass ceiling, emotional leadership, succession and primogeniture) and positive aspects (professional career and running the company). Based on the critical analysis of previous literature, a research framework is proposed, on the role of women in family firms, main drivers and obstacles, that can be a useful starting point both for future research, and for practical insights to family firms, women, and policy makers.The research method is based on the longitudinal analysis of a case study concerning a medium size family firm operating in the services sector in Italy.The analysis of the case study shows mostly of the obstacles/weakness and positive aspects/strengths previously find in the literature.The final aim is to define the women’s role in family business and let better understand the impact of women in family firms considering several aspects such as their leadership styles, strategy, organization, managerialization and performance.Through the case study, we try to also define possible corrective actions in order to handle obstacles.
Women entrepreneurship: a solution or not? Women have been economically active since 11th century, however, especially in the past, women’s professional capabilities and competencies were mostly ignored, both in family firms, and in non-family business. Women in general, had played several roles in firms, but often they were invisible, with no consideration and no monetary gain. Women commonly they were not respected and they had no chance to show their capabilities (Dumas, 1998). Through this paper we would like to understand if the foundation of a personal enterprise is a solution in order to express women capabilities and in order to avoid the typical women’s obstacles (invisibility, glass ceiling, queen bee phenomenon, at al.).