Date of Conferral







Steven Tippins


When the owners of family-owned businesses leave the workplace, they can transfer ownership to the next generation; however, their knowledge of the business goes with them. There is a gap in the literature regarding effective ways to transfer family business resources and knowledge to subsequent generations. The problem was some small and family-owned businesses do not have detailed plans in place based on the needs of owners and the successor generation, with cross-project knowledge as part of the succession plan. The purpose of this nonexperimental study was to examine the relationships between the subscales of cross-project tacit knowledge transfer and to examine the generational differences in cross-project tacit knowledge transfer among small and family-owned businesses. The theoretical underpinning of the study was Argyris and Schön's organizational learning theory. Data from family business owners were collected through an online survey administered by SurveyMonkey, using purposeful sampling. Data (n = 233) were analyzed using a Spearman correlation matrix and Kruskal-Wallis tests. The findings indicated there were significant associations for seven of the 10 correlations between the subscales of cross-project knowledge transfer with each relationship being positive. In addition, the findings suggested that there were significant differences in cross-project knowledge transfer by age cohort. These findings may assist informed family-owned business owners with the complexities of succession planning, which may lead to the business being successful over more generations. This may allow the business to sustain its contribution to the local economy and help the community to prosper, leading to positive social change.