Are Family Businesses Long-Lived?

Jerzy Węcławski


Theoretical background: Striving to maintain family ownership of the enterprise and to perform its succession is one of the main characteristics of this types of business entities Sustainability of family businesses fosters economic stability, intergenerational transfer of systems of family values and building a brand. However, implementing a strategy of development and expansion necessitates financing with external equity as well as professional management with the involvement of external managers, which leads to weakening or losing control of the family over the enterprise.

Purpose of the article: The study aims to increase the knowledge on the family business’s age with taking into account the inflence that external factors as well as social and economic environment have on it.

Research methods: The analysis of subject literature on family entrepreneurship and statistical data including international comparisons were applied.

Main conclusions: A fairly common perception of family businesses as firms with long traditions is not fully appropriate. Within this groups, the most frequently quoted examples of family businesses existing for years are exceptional. A family nature that stabilises the existence of the firm gets weaker along with the intergeneration transfer of the ownership. Longevity occurs in small and medium enterprises, while large and professionalized ones lose their family nature preserving “familiness” as a brand along with their development.


family business; family business age; family business generation

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Data publikacji: 2022-09-05 12:06:29
Data złożenia artykułu: 2022-03-30 19:22:17


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