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“I'm Your Leader Now, but Do You Trust Me?”: Analysis of Leadership and Trust in Family Firms

“I'm Your Leader Now, but Do You Trust Me?”: Analysis of Leadership and Trust in Family Firms
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Author(s): Simona Leonelli (University of Padova, Italy), Francesca Masciarelli (University G. d'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Italy) and Alessandra Tognazzo (University of Padova, Italy)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 22
Source title: Handbook of Research on the Strategic Management of Family Businesses
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Jesús Manuel Palma-Ruiz (Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Mexico), Ismael Barros-Contreras (Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile) and Luca Gnan (University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2269-1.ch005

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Abstract

Leadership succession is inevitable for most family businesses. To effectively face this challenging transition, next-generation leaders need to have the ability to gain their employees' trust which is typically very challenging due to previous generation' influence on the business. The chapter explores how trust in family leaders can impact succession when a business is passed from one generation to the next. This chapter presents two comparative examples of family business cases operating in the transportation sector in Italy. In the first business, the succession already took place and the next-generation leader is running the firm, while in the other firm, the incumbent generation is still in charge of the company and is not passing the baton. Results show that the incumbent and next-generation leader's perception of their leadership style correspond to non-family employees' perceptions. However, employees' trust in the incumbent is higher than the trust in the successor.

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