Fathers and Daughters: Passing on the Family Business

Family-owned companies account for 80 percent of all businesses worldwide, and about one-third of them are owned by women. Although U.S. Census data and recent research shows that daughters and wives are increasingly taking over family businesses, few studies have been done on the process. That’s the subject of a new book, Father-Daughter Succession in Family Business, (Gower, 2011) by Daphne Halkias, a social science researcher at Cornell University and senior research fellow at the Center for Young & Family Enterprise at the University of Bergamo in Italy. The book seeks to illuminate the process of father-daughter succession around the globe and find ways to encourage it, Halkias says. She spoke recently to Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

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