Entrepreneurial behaviour in the course of business succession

Using data of the IAB-establishment panel, the paper analyses entrepreneurial behaviour before and after business succession and how this behaviour affects the economic situation of the enterprises being handed over. Thereby, the study is based on hypotheses claiming that there is a reduction in investments before the succession, while successors tend to induce company growth. The results show that predecessors increasingly reduce investments, continuous training of employees, and research and development, the closer the date of succession approaches. At first sight, new owners increase investments as well as apprenticeship and continuous training while they are less likely to introduce process innovations. However, these activities cannot be directly linked to the succession itself. Furthermore, there is no consistent evidence that could explain the observed turnover and employment development of a company after business succession with a specific entrepreneurial behaviour.

Pahnke, A.; Kay, R.; Schlepphorst, S. (2017): Unternehmerisches Verhalten im Zuge der Unternehmensnachfolge, IfM Bonn: IfM-Materialien Nr. 254, Bonn.

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