I family business e la successione padre-figlia nella cultura italiana: un caso di studio

Lucio Cassia, Alfredo De Massis, Federica Giudici


The case-study investigates the succession process characterized by the transition of leadership from father to daughter, focusing on the relationships among the actors involved, the way the succession process takes place and the main issues emerged. The aim is to detect the presence of cultural elements specific to the Italian context that may influence this process. The central role traditionally played by the family in the Italian culture justifies and determines the preponderance of the family business on the lives of family members. This is the reason why the intention of successors to ensure the continuity of the family business is an overwhelming and decisive motivation to join the company; this motivation has driven the successor to take the helm of the firm even if she is a woman entering an industry traditionally reserved to men. The take over of the leadership is even more critical for women, because of the propensity of parents to educate sons and daughters in different ways. The emerged empirical evidence seems therefore to suggest that in the Italian culture there are activities and industries best suited to one sex more than to the other, and there is diffused conviction that the business approach, the leadership style and the skills of an individual depend not only on his or her own individuality, but also, significantly, on his or her gender. In particular, according to the exploratory findings of this case-study, it seems that women pay more attention to relational aspects and show high propensity to delegate tasks and activities, while men are characterized by a more centralized and authoritarian leadership style.


Father-daughter succession; fds; family business; italian culture

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Ampò A. and A. Tracogna (2008), “Successione imprenditoriale e prospettive di continuità nelle piccole e medie imprese”, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste.

CERIF (Centro di Ricerca sulle Imprese di Famiglia) (2008), “Le imprese di famiglia: Imprenditori è il momento di lasciare il testimone?”, Convegno CERIF, 21 novembre.

Banca d’Italia (2004), Proprietà e controllo delle imprese italiane. Cosa è cambiato nel decennio 1993-2003, Milano.

Barnes L.B. (1988), “Incongruent Hierarchies: daughter and younger sons as company CEOs”, Family Business Review, 1(1).

Bauer M. (1993), “Les patrons de PME entre le Pouvoir, l’Entreprise et la Famille”, InterEditions, Paris.

Becker H. S. (1990), “Generalizing from case studies”, in Eisner E.W. and A. Peshkin, Qualitative inquiry in education: The continuing debate, New York: Teachers College Press, 233-242.

Bombelli M.C. (2000), Soffitto di vetro e dintorni – Il management al femminile, Etas Libri,Milano.

Bosma N. and J. Levie (2009), “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor - 2009 Global Repport”, GEM Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Bruni A., S. Gherardi and B. Poggio (2004), “Doing gender, doing entrepreneurship: an ethnographic account of intertwined practices”, Gender, Work and Organization, 11(4), 406-429.

Cabrera-Suárez K., P. De Saá-Pérez and D. García-Almeida (2001), “The succession process from a resource and knowledge-based view of the family firm”, Family Business Review,14(1), 37-47.

Casson M. (1999), “The Economics of the Family Firm”, Scandinavian Economic History Review, 1, 10-23.

Castagnoli A. (2006), “Behind the family firm: women entrepreneurs in Italy XIV”, International Economic History Congress, Helsinki.

Centro Studi Sintesi (2006), “Sintesi del rapporto sul 1° Osservatorio sull’imprenditoria femminile: caratteristiche e problematiche”.

Chiesa V., De Massis, A., Pasi M. L. (2007), “Gestire la successione nei family business: analisi di alcuni casi italiani”, Piccola Impresa/ Small Business, n. 1, Settembre, pp. 7-51.

Chiesi M., Lorni E., Potetti A. e C. Storti (2002), “La maternità come sfida di Diversity management”, Sviluppo & Organizzazione, 194.

Chua J. H., J.J. Chrisman and P. Sharma (2003), “Succession and non succession concerns of family firms and agency relationship with nonfamily managers”, Family Business Review,

(2), 89-107.

CNA Impresa Donna Lombardia (2008), “L’imprenditoria Femminile tra Competitività e Continuità: gli strumenti”, convegno in collaborazione con: Regione Lombardia e


Cole P.M. (1997), “Women in Family Business”, Family Business Review, 10(4).

Colli A., Fernández Pérez P. and M. B. Rose (2003), “National Determinants of Family Firm Development? Family Firms in Britain, Spain, and Italy in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”, Enterprise & Society, 4(1), 28-64.

Cook L. and B. Rothewell (2000), The x and y of leadership. How men and women make a difference at work, The Industrial society, London.

Corbetta G. and C. Dematté (1993), I processi di transizione delle imprese familiari, Mediocredito Lombardo (Studi e ricerche).

Corbetta G. and D. Montemerlo (1999), “Ownership governance and management issues in small and medium size family business: a comparison of Italy and the United

States”, Family Business Review, 12(4).

Davis P.S. and P.D. Harveston (1998), “The influence of family on business succession process: A multi-generational perspective”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 22(3), 31-53.

De Massis A., J.H. Chua and J.J. Chrisman (2008), “Factors Preventing Intra-Family Succession”, Family Business Review, 21(2), 183-199.

Dumas C. (1989), “Understanding of father-Daughter and father-Son dyads in family-owned business”, Family Business Review, 2(1).

Dumas C. (1992), “Integrating the Daughter into Family Business Management”, Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 16(4), 41-55.

Dunemann M. and R. Barrett (2004), Family business and succession planning. A review of the literature, Family and Small Business Research Unit, Faculty of Business and Economics,

Monash University, 1-47. Available at http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au

Dyer W.G. (1986), Cultural change in family firms: Anticipating and managing business and family transitions, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.

Eisenhardt K.M. (1989), “Building theories from case studies research”, Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532-550.

European Commission (2008), “Overview of Family Business Relevant Issues”, http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/documents/family-business/index_en.htm.

Friedman S.D. (1991), “Sibling relationship and intergenerational succession in family firms”, Family Business Review, 4(1), 3-20.

Fox M., V. Nilakant and R.V. Hamilton (1996), “Managing succession in family-owned

businesses”, International Small Business Journal, 15(1), 15-25.

Gillis-Donovan J. and C. Moynihan-Bradt (1990), “The power of the invisible women in the family business”, Family Business Review, 3(2), 153-167.

Goldberg S.D. (1996), “Research note: Successors in family owned businesses-significant elements”, Family Business Review, 9(2), 185-197.

Gubitta P. (1999). “Flessibilità e modelli di governance dell’impresa familiare”, Cuoarivista, 2.

Handler W. C. and K.E. Kram (1988), “Succession in family firms: The problem of resistance”, Family Business Review, 1(4), 361-381.

Hymowitz C. and T.D. Schellhardt (1986), “The glass ceiling: Why women can’t seem to break the invisible barrier that blocks them from the top jobs”, The Wall Street Journal.

Hollander B. and W. Bukowitz (1990), “Women, family culture, and family business”, Family Business Review, 3(2), 139-152.

Istat (2008), “Rapporto annuale. La situazione del Paese nel 2008”, http://www.istat.it/dati/catalogo/20090526_00/rapporto_annuale_2008.pdf

Lansberg I. (1988), “The succession conspiracy”, Family Business Review, 1(2), 119-143.

Marchini (2000), Il governo della piccola impresa. Le basi delle conoscenze, vol. I, capitolo imprenditorialità femminile, Aspi/INS-EDIT, Genova.

Masino G. (2008), “Culture and Management in Italy: Tradition, Modernization, New Challenges”, in: Davel E., J.P. Dupuis and J.F. Chanlat, Gestion en contexte interculturel: approches, problé matiques, pratiques et plongées, Presse de l’Université Laval et Télé-université (UQAM), Québec.

Nelton S. (1986), In love and in business. How entrepreneurial couples are changing the rules of business and marriage, New York: JohnWiley.

Patton M.Q. (1987), How to use qualitative methods in evaluation, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.

Rodriquez-Cameron L.M. (1989), Wives and mothers in family business, Doctoral dissertation, City, CA: University of Southern California.

Soderberg A.-M. e E. Vaara (2003), “Theoretical and methodological considerations”, in: Soderberg A.-M. e E. Vaara (Eds.), Merging across borders. People, cultures and politics, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.

Songini L. and L. Gnan (2009), “Women, glass ceiling and professionalization in family SMEs”, Journal of Enterprising Culture, Vol. 17 Issue 4, pp. 497-525.

Stavrou E.T. (1999), “Succession in Family Businesses: Exploring the Effects of Demographic Factors on Offspring Intentions to Join and Take over the Business”, Journal of Small Business Management, 37.

Todd E. (1983), La troisieme planete, Empreintes, Paris.

Tomaselli, S. (1996), Longevità e sviluppo delle imprese familiari. Problemi, strategie e strutture di governo, Giuffrè, Milano.

Van Maanen J. (1983), Qualitative methodology, Sage Publications, London.

Vera C.F. and M.A. Dean (2005), “An Examination of the Challenges Daughters Face in Family Business Succession”, Family Business Review, 18(4).

Ward, J.L. (1987), Keeping the family business healthy: How to plan for continuing growth, profitability, and family leadership , Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, California.

Wolcott, H.F. (1994), Transforming qualitative data: Description, analysis, interpretation, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.

Yin R. K. (2003), Case study research, design and methods, 3rd ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks USA.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14596/pisb.51


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 0394-7947 / eISSN: 2421-5724