One Man’s Journey to Better Understand Succession Planning In FOBs
My name is Matthew Kerzner and I am a product of a family business. I grew up working for my Dad’s drug stores. However, I knew I didn’t want to become a pharmacist, and neither did any of my siblings, so he eventually sold his businesses. I ended up going to school and honed my craft as a Human Resource professional. Through the years I have worked for both small and large family-owned businesses (FOBs) and have seen firsthand how family and non-family members felt in regards to not fully understanding the succession planning process. After working for one organization I decided I wanted to go back to school to work toward my PhD in Business Psychology, with a hyper-focus on family business and study succession planning.
As I was thinking about my dissertation study, I could not forget how I felt as a non-family member working for an FOB and how I have seen good employees leave the organization based on how the owners communicated (or failed to communicate) their succession planning intentions.
So I am living my dream, and currently on a journey to test my own assumptions and experiences by conducting an exploratory research project that examines how FOB CEOs and owners use their succession planning transition to maintain the overall health of the business, and to better understand their perception of employee engagement.
This is such an important topic to study because empirical research indicates that in the next five years, in 40% of FOBs, CEOs will change hands with no plans of a successor. There is a growing interest in succession planning within FOBs, but there seems to be a limited amount of research that explores how succession planning is actually executed. This reinforces the significance of this qualitative study. Thanks in advance for your help.
Do you know of any family business owners who would be willing to donate their time for this important qualitative study?
Here is the participation criteria:
1. He/she must be the CEO and owner of the FOB.
2. He/she must have experienced a succession plan transition.
3. There must be at least 2 other family members working in the FOB.
4. The business must be in operation for more than 20 years.
5. The business must have at least 20 employees.
6. The business can be from any industry.
Interested? Please contact Matt at [email protected]hicagoschool.edu.