In the family business literature, succession research has focused on the family member as they enter the leadership role or on the different issues that affect the succession process. Although researchers have acknowledged that succession in family businesses is “punctuated” by decision making events, less attention has been given to understanding how incumbents make decisions about ownership and management transitions. In an effort to continue to understand the succession process it is important to understand how incumbents make decisions about the type of transitions they intend to engage in (i.e., intra-family succession, out of family succession, or no succession). Building on the theory of planned behavior and the socioemotional wealth framework (SEW), this manuscript presents a conceptual framework to understand the factors that influence succession transitions and the role that contextual factors can play in this decision-making process. We present theory driven propositions and discuss the implications for understanding and evaluation of the succession process.

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Published in International Journal of Financial Studies, v. 2, issue 4, p. 335-358.

© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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