Family Owner-Nonfamily CEO Relational Practices Shaping CEO Succession: Handling Equivocality and Relational Balancing

Frank Lambrechts, Ruveyda Kelleci, Wim Voordeckers, Jolien Huybrechts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study focuses on family owner–nonfamily CEO relational practices and what these relational practices constrain and potentiate in family firm CEO succession. Our main contribution is developing a constructionist relational practice perspective and approach as an alternative to the entitative view that dominates the family business literature. We illustrate the relational practice perspective through our dialogically structured inquiries with family owners and nonfamily CEOs. We co-develop practical wisdom on how family owner–nonfamily CEO relational practices can construct stuckness in organizing or, conversely, open up new possibilities to go on depending on (i) the way the family owner and nonfamily CEO “handle” equivocality and tension they continuously (re)produce through their relational practices and (ii) the way they enact “relational balancing” to equilibrate their relation in the making in terms of value/self-worth maintenance by involving other actors, such as board members, management team members, or a coach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-264
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Volume33
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Constructionist relational practice perspective
  • Dialogically structured inquiries
  • Family owner-nonfamily CEO relational practices
  • Handling equivocality
  • Relational balancing

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