• Primogeniture in Turkish Family Owned Businesses: An examination of daughter succession, the impact of national culture on gendered norms and leadership challenge.

      Harris, Phil; Ozdemir, Ozlem; University of Chester; Regents University, London
      Family owned and controlled businesses, which may be owned, controlled or operated by various family members, account for an enormous percentage of global employment, revenues and GDP. Although the majority of well-known companies are family owned, research indicates that unfortunately, only thirty percent of family businesses survive to the second generation. Therefore, successful transfer of the business to the next generation is an important issue for the family business literature. However, although succession is a vital issue for Family Owned Businesses (FOBs), the process is unfortunately very gender biased in most societies, with boys being generally favoured over girls so daughters are always excluded as candidates and other women are seldom considered as successors in family businesses. In many cases, especially in certain cultures, female members of the next generation are not even perceived as a viable option. Even in today’s rapidly changing business climate, primogeniture continues to dominate the value system of family businesses. Primogeniture is an accepted approach to family business succession planning; daughters are only considered for family business succession when all descendants are female or the daughter is the first born. This study aims to identify the reasons behind the primogeniture in Turkish FOBs. The objectives of the study were to examine the key factors identified by the incumbents related with the primogeniture. In this research study, an interpretive methodology was adopted to explore, interpret and to understand meanings of knowledge. For this research, qualitative data were gathered via in-depth open-ended interviews with 20 male FOB owners who have at least one daughter and 20 daughters working at their FOB with their fathers. The questions were designed to measure different facets of FOB demographics and culture to understand their effects on the selection process within Turkish FOBs and gender norms in the context of FOB norms, which influence both family members and the business it. This study investigated daughters’ succession in FOBs in Turkey, a developing country where women are less likely than men to engage in entrepreneurial activities and show that gendered norms are still considered when choosing the successor, in other word, primogeniture still dominates the family business succession process.