Management team replacement and family business performance: an empirical test in Southern Italy


  • Mario Mustilli
  • Francesco Campanella
  • Domenico Graziano



chief executive officer, management team, socioemotional wealth, performances, family succession


Purpose of the paper: This empirical research has the aim of verifying the effects of management team replacement on performance in second-generation family businesses.
Methodology: Our empirical investigation examines a sample of 992 manufacturing family businesses. These firms are located in Southern Italy and they are second generation family firms. The sample was divided into: 1) a main group composed of 496 firms that replaced management teams after family succession; 2) a control group of 496 firms that did not replace management teams after family succession. The performance indicators were compared using: 1) paired samples t-test; 2) Levene’s test; 3) independent samples t-test.
Findings: The comparison between the two homogeneous groups points out that there are no significant changes in performance after family succession. Regarding management team replacement, only second-generation family businesses that have changed the management team suffer significant deterioration in performance.
Research limitations: The results only concern enterprises in Southern Italy that operate in the manufacturing sector.
Research and managerial implications: The research underlines the importance of the involvement of management teams and their business decision-making power in retaining “old” managers in family businesses.
Originality/value of paper: Few empirical studies have investigated the effects of management team replacement after family succession. The results of this research could extend the perspective of the emerging Socioemotional Wealth theory.


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