Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Susan K. Fan

Abstract

Medium-sized family businesses are major contributors to economic activities and job creation in Nigeria, but more than 50% of such family businesses fail after leadership succession. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies that owners of medium-sized family businesses use to sustain the businesses after the leadership transition from the founders. The population for this study included 3 family business leaders in Lagos and Port Harcourt in Nigeria who have sustained their family businesses after the leadership transition from their founders. The conceptual framework for the study was based on the transformational leadership theory and the theory of planned behavior. Data collection was through semistructured face-to-face interviews and from company documents and artifacts. Data analysis was supported by follow up questions and member checking to enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of interpretations. The 4 themes that emerged were the founders' desire and support for transition, preparation of successors, trust and credibility of successors, and clarity of vision for both the founders and the successors. The findings from this study could contribute to positive social change by providing family business owners with strategies for managing leadership transitions to enable them to sustain their business operations after these transitions. Sustaining the family businesses might lead to a reduction in unemployment and enhance the incomes and well-being of the family members, communities, and Nigerian economy.