Success Factor Priorities for the Succession of Family Firms

  • Namjae Cho
  • Yunseosk Lee Business School, Hanyang University, Korea
  • Ji-Hee Kim Richard J. Wehle School of Business, Canisius College, USA
  • Giseob Yu Hanyang University
Keywords: Family Business, Succession, AHP, Incumbent CEO, Priority


This research explored the opinion of incumbent CEOs of family businesses on the critical issue of the sustainability of a family business, succession. The incumbent CEO has the irreplaceable rights to make important decisions with regard to business succession. We used Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology by dividing variables into two tiers. The first-tier has four categories 1) the relationship with a successor, 2) a successor’s management ability, 3) a successor’s self-efficacy, and 4) a succession plan. Each first-tier has three sub-dimensions which comprise the second-tier. The findings showed that the successors’ management ability was the most important factor, followed by the relationship with a successor, succession plan, and successors’ self-efficacy. In the second-tier the importance of successors’ interpersonal management ability is highlighted. Successors are expected to maintain good relationship with both family and non-family members. Implications for the successful succession of a family business are drawn.

Author Biographies

Namjae Cho

Pro. Namjae Cho is a professor of MIS at the School of Business of Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. He received his doctoral degree in MIS from Boston University, U.S.A. He has published research papers in journals including Industrial Management and Data Systems, Computers and Industry, International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain, and Journal of Data and Knowledge Engineering. He also published several books, including “Supply Network Coordination in the Dynamic and Intelligent Environment (IGI Global)” and “Innovations in Organizational Coordination Using Smart Mobile Technology (2013, Springer)”. He consulted government organizations and several multinational companies. His research interest includes technology planning and innovation, analysis of IT impacts, strategic alignment and IT governance, knowledge management and industrial ICT policy, design thinking, and family business management.

Yunseosk Lee, Business School, Hanyang University, Korea

Mr. Yunseok Lee is currently studying in a Ph.D. program at Hanyang University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Sahmyook University. His master’s degree is a Y.E.S. MBA from Hanyang University, and his research interest is in Family Business and Succession.

Ji-Hee Kim, Richard J. Wehle School of Business, Canisius College, USA


Dr. Ji-Hee Kim is a tenured associate professor and the director of entrepreneurship in the Department of Management, Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College in New York, U.S.A. She received her Ph.D. from the Ewha Womans University in Korea. The majority of her doctoral studies have been done at the Munich University in Germany as a German National Government Fellow, at Ohio State University as a Korean Research Foundation Scholarship Fellow, and at Cornell University in U.S.A. as an Ewha Womans University’s Excellence Fellowship. Her areas of expertise and research streams are in entrepreneurship, family business, small business, and economic development with multi-cultural, environmental, and international perspectives. She has published more than 60 research papers in the entrepreneurship and family business fields.






Giseob Yu, Hanyang University

Dr. Giseob Yu (Corresponding author) is the CEO of TRUST Lab and an adjunct professor at Hanyang University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Kangwon National University and graduated with Y.E.S. MBA and Ph.D. in MIS and Family Business from Hanyang University. His interesting research fields include family business, succession, entrepreneurship, and digital governance and transformation in family business.

How to Cite
Cho, N., Lee, Y., Kim, J.-H., & Yu, G. (2022). Success Factor Priorities for the Succession of Family Firms. Contemporary Management Research, 18(1), 67-91.
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