Within the family business field of research, professionalization and succession have strongly attracted the scholars’ attention. Both the processes entail crucial changes for family firms, whose outcomes are mysterious and sometimes differing from expectations. Though scholars have identified several relationships between these processes, the way in which succession and professionalization could evolve in the medium-long term has not been adequately investigated. In particular, it is not clear how the introduction of management control systems and the hiring of skilled non-family managers may be combined with the successor’s professionalization. This paper builds on an Italian longitudinal case study analyzing the use of managerial systems and the introduction of professional managers during the intra-family succession. Results show that the successor’s seal of approval moves the introduction of managerial systems and the hiring of professional managers to the detriment of long-term survival and growth.
Keywords: Professionalization, Management Control Systems, Family business, Succession