Date of Conferral
Leaders of family-owned businesses pay more attention to the attainment of personal and organizational objectives than to leadership succession plans for continuity when they leave the business. Despite the significant contributions of family-owned businesses to the social and economic development of nations, founders and leaders still contend with the challenge of leadership transfer to the next generation. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenology study was to examine the lived experiences of past and current leaders of family-owned businesses in Lagos regarding the challenge of preparing the next generation for leadership succession. The theory of knowledge transfer formed the conceptual framework for the study. Purposeful sampling method was used to select 15 business owners and leaders from 5 family-owned businesses in Lagos. Data collection methods included in-depth and open-ended telephone interviews. The Steve-Colaizzi-Keen design was used to analyze, and code data to identify prevailing themes. Eight themes emerged in the study of which six corroborate some current studies on leadership succession, while the remaining two new themes could be described as potential gaps in the literature. The study findings may help resolve complexities of determining, choosing, and mentoring potential leaders for eventual takeover when there is a vacuum. The results of the study highlighted the need for education or a foundation to support family-owned businesses in southwest Nigeria in the transfer of leadership to successive generations. This could prevent family-owned businesses from going into extinction at the exit of the founders.