An Empirical Study of the Relationship between Entrepreneurial Competences and Innovativeness of Successors in Family SMEs

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Background and Purpose: In the recent period, scholarly interest for family entrepreneurship and succession has been increasing while the question of innovative capability of family SMEs and of innovativeness of founders and successors is relatively unexplored. Little is known about the factors, which are positively correlated, or affect innovativeness of successors in family SMEs. This research explores the relationship between entrepreneurial competences of the founders in family SMEs and innovativeness of their successors.

Design/Methodology/Approach: The target group were family SMEs of the first and the second generation – their founders and successors in Slovenia. As our research includes two independent samples with mostly ordinal data, we used univariate (analysis of means, variance, reliability index Cronbach alpha, t-test) and multivariate (simultaneous analysis of more variables, correlation) statistical methods to study the two constructs - entrepreneurial competences of the founders and innovativeness of successors, to test the positive correlation between the two.

Results: Results indicate that entrepreneurial competences like creativity, attitude toward risk-taking, attitude toward negotiations, technical knowledge and skills and marketing knowledge and skills of the founders in family SMEs positively correlate with innovativeness of successors. The results of this study indicate that entrepreneurial competences of founders are important factor for fostering innovativeness of successors.

Conclusion: This paper links the two studied constructs and presents a valuable contribution for entrepreneurship theory; therefore, the results could be used for a further scientific research as also for practical implications.

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