The Role of Emotional Leader in Women-Owned Family Businesses
Succession from mother to children is an overlooked area of research. In family business studies, women have often been described as third actors—mediators between family members, patient wives and responsible mothers—playing a main role as emotional leaders. However, what happens when a woman, especially a mother, is the main actor of the succession process? This study focuses on this topic, in order to understand if a woman who leads a family firm can also act as an emotional leader and how this role affects the outcome of the succession process. Two longitudinal case studies from two different countries (Spain and Italy) were carried out. In both cases, the main character is a woman who founded and ran a business and recently passed the leadership to the next generation. Results show that even if both of them were the founders, owners and leaders of the business, they never lost their role as emotional leader. These behaviours have proven to be very beneficial for the succession process and business survival. Findings offer an important contribution to knowledge on family business succession analysing the continuity of businesses founded and managed by women and the ownership/leadership transfer from mother to children also highlight important specific characteristics of this kind of succession.
KeywordsFamily business Women-owned family businesses Women entrepreneurs Succession Mother-children succession
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