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




Scott Burrus


A significant number of funeral homes in the United States are family-owned businesses. These family-owned funeral businesses contribute to society throughout generations to create wealth, provide employment opportunities, and serve the communities that surround them. The purpose of this descriptive multiple case study was to explore strategies that leaders of family-owned funeral business owners in the eastern region of the United States used for intergenerational succession planning. Game theory was the conceptual framework for the study. Data were collected from semistructured interviews with 3 family business owners and review of the family businesses' professional association websites and family historical documents. Yin's 5-step process served as a guide for analyzing data. Data analysis revealed 6 themes: family succession values, the game, the players, strategies, payoff and rewards, and the outcome. Implications of this study for social change include family business owners' enhanced awareness of successful strategies, which may improve business continuity leading to an increased rate of intergenerational transitions within the funeral industry.

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