Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Lisa M. Kangas


Thirty percent of small family businesses continue to the second generation, and 13% continue to the third generation. Small family business owners’ ability to find a replacement, for the succession of power, continues to challenge small family business owners. Small family business owners who do not incorporate successful succession strategies run a high risk of failure and closure. Grounded in the dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation, the purpose of this qualitative single case study was to explore strategies 3 small family business owners in Hawaii used for the succession of power. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and supplemented by a review of company documents. Data were analyzed using Yin’s 5-step approach. The 4 themes that emerged were: improve and annually review the structural coupling of family and enterprise, provide continuing education and training when industry standards and regulations change, integrate knowledge management systems, and review and modify the company’s vision and strategies. A key recommendation is for small family business owners to integrate mentoring programs into leadership succession strategies that align family and business ethics with organizational growth strategies and strategic planning for developing successors. The implications for positive social change include the potential for more small family business owners to successfully transfer power, knowledge, and business to family members. Small family business owners could then empower and inspire family generation employees to grow their small businesses, promote jobs, and support community development.

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