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Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business


Finding the right successor to a well-loved founder or president is often the most difficult task an organization can face--and the challenge can be even greater for family-run businesses. "Succeeding Generations" explores leadership transitions in family businesses, offering a clear-eyed assessment of the different options, from direct succession to building partnerships between siblings and cousins. Family-owned companies may dominate the worldwide business landscape, yet surprisingly few are successfully passed down from one generation to the next, and fewer still reach the third generation intact. Author Ivan Lansberg, an organizational psychologist who grew up in a family business, examines the reasons behind this high failure rate and reveals the factors that contribute to long-term success. He offers practical advice on how to mentor successors, how to set up a systematic selection process, and how to make the best use of the board of directors during times of transition. With a wealth of examples from companies in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, "Succeeding Generations" provides a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the sensitive dynamics of leadership succession in family businesses.




Ivan Lansberg

Date Published



Lansberg, Ivan. 1999. Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business.


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