Non-family CEOs in family firms - A Clash of Logics? : A study on how different logics and perceptions of professionalism shape expectations and affect relationships.
In the near future several Swedish family firms will face a need for succession. Many times there is no available successor within the family firm. Hiring a non-family CEO (NFC) is thus a solution to keep the firm within the family. Using a multiple case study with 6 participating family firms, we have identified how clashing logics between family business owners and NFCs, on the role of the NFC, influence their expectations and relationships. Clashing logics were often a source of disagreements and conflicts, leading to failure in the owner-NFC relationship. Furthermore, we have identified that the two parties often perceived the non-family CEO to offer more professional management which was a motive why family firms in this study hired NFCs. This perceived professionalism was also a reason for conflicting expectations. Adding to previous studies we also identified a series of influencing factors impacting the family business owner-NFC relationship. To conclude this study provides new insights for further research and practical recommendations for family firms in the process of hiring NFCs.
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