The role of context: understanding South Asian family firms in Scotland and the succession paradox
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Seaman, C., Bent, R. & Unis, A. (2016) The role of context: understanding South Asian family firms in Scotland and the succession paradox. International Journal of Management Practice, 9 (4), pp. 433-447.
The role of context for family firms is important and is one facet of the space that family firms require to develop, survive and thrive (Seaman, 2012, 2013). The country in which the family firm is based is one important aspect of context, providing the business environment and influencing the environment in which the family grow and develop. This paper considers the role of context in understanding the development of family firms amongst the Asian community in Scotland. The businesses tend to be the result of post-1950 migration that are less likely than other forms of family business to have been passed on to a second or subsequent generation (Scottish Government, 2011). One outstanding question is the degree to which this dilemma influences the future strategies and indeed survival of the business. The literature around family businesses contains considerable evidence that family businesses desire succession but in many cases this does not translate easily to a coherent and ultimately successful succession plan. The succession paradox that appears to exist with South Asian family firms in Scotland may be that they often do not desire succession but may achieve succession by dint of the context in which they operate.