New research project launched to address succession intentions in family business

Should we stay or go? Examining the succession intentions of Ireland's next-generation family business members

Family firms are the heartbeat of our economy, representing 64% of all firms in the Republic of Ireland and employing more than 938,000 people across the country. A dominant form of organisation, intergenerational succession is key to economic success. Next-generation succession intentions - the desire to pursue a leadership role in the parental firm - often only materialise when next-generation members are both willing and able to contribute to firm continuity. 

The Next-Generation Succession Intentions for Family Businesses

Despite the importance of intra-family succession, global studies show that succession intentions among next-generation members are low, creating a succession crisis. Moreover, the family business field has accumulated little insight into what drives or suppresses succession intentions. 

With sponsorship from AIB Plc, a year-long research project will examine the succession intentions of Ireland's next-generation family business members. NCFB Director Dr Eric Clinton, Associate Director Dr Catherine Faherty and postdoctoral researcher Dr Michelle Cowley-Cunningham will conduct nationwide surveys and interviews with higher education students from family business backgrounds.

The project aims to uncover and promote best-practice actionable insights for family businesses and their financial backers.  A suite of practitioner and research journal reports will be produced to support family businesses to adapt, survive and thrive into the future. Findings will better inform the field of family business research as well as the Irish Government and EU policy positions on family business succession.

We are excited to partner with AIB on this project and will share more news in the coming months as the project progresses. In the meantime, if you would like to take part in the study please contact us at familybusiness@dcu.ie.


(Top Photo L-R: Jim O'Keeffe MD Retail Banking AIB, John Brennan Head of SME - Retail Banking AIB, Michelle Burke Executive Director DCU NCFB, Anne Sinnott Deputy President DCU, and Paul Hennessy Chairperson, DCU NCFB Advisory Board)