Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

The Practices of Effective Family Firm Leaders
Vol. Volume 4, Number 2 April/1999

James M. Hunt and Wendy C. Handler

James M. Hunt, DBA, is Assistant Professor of Management at Babson College. Wendy C. Handler, DBA, is Assistant Professor of Management at the Arthur Blank Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College Board of Research for a generous grant without which this research would not have been possible. The authors also wish to extend their appreciation to Nancy Upton for feedback on this work and to the participants in the Fourth Annual Psychosocial Dynamics in the Family Business Retreat for their many invaluable suggestions.

This Research aims to deepen our understanding of family firm leadership. An exploratory study of six successful family firms resulted in a series of hypotheses regarding the practices of successful family firm leaders. These hypotheses also provide insight into the leadership practices that promote effective family and firm development. Based on the findings, a model of the dynamics of family firm leader motivation and self-concept is suggested. Additional research is required to assess the strength of the hypotheses presented, particularly in other cultural contexts.

Keywords: Family business, leadership, succession