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Browsing by Author "Virtapuro, Anni"

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  • Virtapuro, Anni (2018)
    When a family business’s founder is about to retire, he or she should begin to plan the future of the family business. Often the founder’s children continue the business because usually they have been a part of the family-owned company for a long time. Now my long term employer is facing the first transfer from one generation to the next and it was very interesting to discover and become aware of this process. I carried out a study about the family business’s change of generation by interviewing the founder and her three adult children. The purpose of this research was to find out which kind of senses do the founder and the continuators give to the change and what are their attitudes towards it. As a theoretical starting point I used Karl Weick’s sensemaking theory, in which my results are based on. Weick’s theory includes 7 dimensions, but I analysed my data through 3 dimensions: identity, retrospective and social. I used the principals of the discourse analyse when analysing the interviews. The interviews were half-structured. As said, the results have been divided into three chapters. Based on the data it can be interpreted that the founder has a strong entrepreneur identity and entrepreneurship plays a huge role in her life, which makes it harder for her to make sense of the change of generation. The continuators share mutual values but still make sense of the change of generation in different ways among themselves. All of the interviewees have chosen entrepreneurism partly because of their parents who have also been entrepreneurs, and this is a part of the retrospective sensemaking. The social dimension of sensemaking is shown in the data when the interviewees make sense of the change of generation through the roles of the working community and the change of them. All of the interviewees have very peaceful thoughts when it comes to the change of generation but there can also be seen a bit of worry about new roles and division of labor. The time after retirement puzzles the founder, and the continuators have some challenges to adapt the founder’s position although they do trust themselves. According to the interviewees they have prepared the transfer from one generation to the next for a while and they believe it’s not going to be a problem.