Research Article Open Access
Primogeniture in Turkish Family Owned Businesses: An Examination of Daughter Succession, the Impact of National Culture on Gendered Norms and Leadership Challenge
Ozlem Ozdemir1*and Phil Harris2
1Executive Director, Business Research Institute, Riverside Campus, University of Chester, Chester CH1 4BJ, UK
2Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Management at Regents University, Inner circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NS, United Kingdom
*Corresponding author: Ozlem Ozdemir, Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Management at Regents University, Inner circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NS, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7487 7700; E-mail: @
Received: April 3, 2019; Accepted: April 14, 2019; Published: April 29, 2019
Citation: Ozdemir O, Phil H (2019) Primogeniture in Turkish Family Owned Businesses: An Examination of Daughter Succession, the Impact of National Culture on Gendered Norms and Leadership Challenge. Int J Fam Busi Manag 3(2): 1-18.
Abstract
Family owned and controlled businesses, which may be owned, controlled or operated by various family members, account for an enormous percentage of global employment, revenues and GDP. Although the majority of well-known companies are family owned, research indicates that unfortunately, only thirty percent of family businesses survive to the second generation. Therefore, successful transfer of the business to the next generation is an important issue for the family business literature. However, although succession is a vital issue for Family Owned Businesses (FOBs), the process is unfortunately very gender biased in most societies, with boys being generally favoured over girls so daughters are always excluded as candidates and other women are seldom considered as successors in family businesses. In many cases, especially in certain cultures, female members of the next generation are not even perceived as a viable option. Even in today’s rapidly changing business climate, primogeniture continues to dominate the value system of family businesses.

Primogeniture is an accepted approach to family business succession planning; daughters are only considered for family business succession when all descendants are female or the daughter is the first born. This study aims to identify the reasons behind the primogeniture in Turkish FOBs. The objectives of the study were to examine the key factors identified by the incumbents related with the primogeniture. In this research study, an interpretive methodology was adopted to explore, interpret and to understand meanings of knowledge. For this research, qualitative data were gathered via in-depth open-ended interviews with 20 male FOB owners who have at least one daughter and 20 daughters working at their FOB with their fathers. The questions were designed to measure different facets of FOB demographics and culture to understand their effects on the selection process within Turkish FOBs and gender norms in the context of FOB norms, which influence both family members and the business it.

This study investigated daughters’ succession in FOBs in Turkey, a developing country where women are less likely than men to engage in entrepreneurial activities and show that gendered norms are still considered when choosing the successor, in other word, primogeniture still dominates the family business succession process.

Keywords: Woman entrepreneurship; Primogeniture; Family Business; Gender; Culture;
Introduction
FOBs play a dominant role in all economies Mazzola, Marchisio and Astrachan [1], Zahra [202 -204], Curimbaba, [34], Kontinen & Ojala, [101], Schuman, Stutz & Ward, [156], Adams, Manners, Astrachan and Mazzola [1], Pradham and Ranajee, [142], Kidwell, Hoy and Ibarreche, [98], Chua, Chrisman & Sharma, [27], Rosenblatt, Mik, Anderson & Johnson [148] and succession planning is considered as a key theme in the family business literature. In many countries, such commercial enterprises are the main drivers of economic activity, growth and sustainability Overbeke, Bilimoria & Somers, [135], Pearson, Carr & Shaw, [137], Miller, Steier & Le Breton-Miller, [121], Miller, Minichili & Corbetta, [120], Miller, [122], Wang, [192], Al-Dajani, Bika, Collins & Swail, [2]. Therefore, these businesses’ performance and sustainability is a vital issue for both the business itself and the wider economy.

Family businesses are unique institutions where two social units (i.e. families and businesses) are highly integrated Harveston, Davis & Lynden, [79] and in these unique institutions, traditional gender roles are often preserved Lee, Fitzgerald & Bartkus [107], Vadnjal & Zupan, [185], Moores & Barrett, [125], Nelson & Levesque, 2007, Curimbaba, [34]. In particular, there is a gender bias when it comes to choosing the successor Wang, [192]. It is, therefore, important to understand the gender differences occurring during the process of succession.

This is not the first study on gendered perceptions and cultural issues on Turkish FOBs. Karatas-Ozkan, Erdogan and Nicolopoulou (2011) and examined the key drivers, challenges and influences on Turkish women entrepreneurs who actively involved to family businesses. Ufuk and Ozgen [180] examined the interaction between the business and family life of female entrepreneurs in Turkish FOBs. Recently, Maden [116] examined the profile of women entrepreneurs in Turkey as a developing country. The current study, however, offers a different perspective on daughter succession implications from the perspective of stewardship, by drawing attention to the perspectives and interests of incumbents who works together with their daughters. We conducted a multi perspective investigation of the key factors and demographics of incumbents associated with primogeniture; education, location, age and generation and this study contributes to a more coherent understanding of Turkish FOBs’ succession process by examining the FOB owners’ approach to their daughters’ leadership challenge.

Our study offers unique insights on primogeniture and two research questions guided our investigation.

How are the key factors identified by the incumbents related to the primogeniture?

What are the similar and different demographic factors for incumbents related with their primogeniture approaches?

The current study investigates the succession processes involving the transition of leadership from father to daughter, focusing on the primogeniture and examines the factors influence the primogeniture in Turkish FOBs.
Literature Review
Family Owned Business and Succession Process
The succession process represents one of the most critical events in the family business lifecycle Bizri, [13] and a major part of the FOB research has been dedicated to the exploration of the issues associated with this critical event Bozer, Levin, & Santora, [14], Chrisman, Chua, Kellermanns, & Chang, [24].

Etymologically, the word succession comes from the Latin word ‘successionem’ meaning “a following, a coming into another’s place” Saxena, [154]. In the family business literature, the term succession refers to situations where both the incumbent, as the person who holds the top management position in a family business and who must relinquish that position before another family member can take over, who relinquishes managerial control, and the successor, who takes it over, are family members (i.e. related by blood or by law) De Massis, Chua, & Chrisman, [42]. Similarly, succession also refers to the success and sustainability of a family business over the long run Sorenson, Yu, Brigham, & Lumpkin, [169].

According to Sharma, Chrisman, Pablo & Chua [160], succession concerns the actions and events that lead to the transition of leadership from one family member to another in family firms. In order to explain these actions and events, Handler [77] asserts that succession is not simply a single step of handing over the baton. He says it is a multistage process over time, beginning before heirs even enter the business. Therefore, researchers tend to agree that succession is more a process than an event that should be planned carefully Handler, [77], Avloniti, Iatridou, Kaloupsis & Vozikis, [7], Duh, [47], Schlepphorst & Moog, [155], Cadieux, Lorraine & Hugron, [19], Pardo-del-Val, [136].

Although succession is a vital issue for FOBs, the process is unfortunately very gender biased in most societies, with boys being generally favoured over girls so daughters are always excluded as candidates and other women are seldom considered as successors in family businesses Wang, [192], Haberman & Danes, [73], Harveston, et al. [79], Dumas, [49], Glover, [67], Miller, et al. [121], Remery, Matser, & Hans Flören, [146], Vera & Dean, [188]. In many cases, especially in certain cultures, female members of the next generation are not even perceived as a viable option Wang, [192], Miller et al. [121], Vera & Dean, [188]. Even in today’s rapidly changing business climate, primogeniture continues to dominate the value system of family businesses Francis, [59], Vera & Dean, [188], Halkias, Thurman, Smith & Nasan [74]. Thus, while a son is generally expected to join the business, a daughter may only be given a chance, or not even invited Francis, [59].

Succession is a challenge to family businesses for a number of reasons, including the need to address the issue of intergenerational handover. Therefore, it must be considered more broadly than as just a process for identifying people with “the right stuff” Royer, Simons, Boyd & Rafferty, [149], Fiegener et al. [58]. The transfer of management decision authority within the family businesses is critical for the long-term viability of FOBs Danes, Lee, Amarapunkar, Stafford, Haynes, & Brewton, [36], Ward, [194] so succession is a vital stage for FOB survival Stavrou, [171].
The Influence of Gender Dynamics on the Succession Process
Research on gender differences and business practices has focused on strategic management, entrepreneurs, managerial styles, firm bureaucracy, firm performance, and employment relationships Danes, Stafford & Loy, [37], Worthley, MacNab, Brislin, Ito & Rose, [199], Thiruvadi & Huang, [173]. Many researchers have investigated management and entrepreneurial styles by gender Barrett & Moores, [11], Moores & Barrett, [125], Sonfield & Lussier, [165].

This body of research has expanded in response to the growing proportion of women in the managerial, entrepreneurial and small business workforce, and their increasing rate of firm creation and small business ownership Sonfield & Lusier, [168].

Although there is a body of literature dealing with gender comparisons of management practices Poggesi, Mari & Vita [140], Moores & Barrett, [125], Pringle, [144], Glover & Kaplan, [66], Kyriakidou, [105] and another in the field of family business Curimbaba, [34], Vadnjal & Zupan, [184], Kontinen & Ojala, [100], Schuman, et al. [156], Adams, et al. [1], Pradhan & Ranajee [142], Zahra, [202], Kidwell, et al. [98], Chua et al. [27], Rosenblatt, et al. [148], Zahra, [204], only a few research studies Remery, et al. [146], Lee, et al. [107], Danes, et al. [37], Lussier & Sonfield, [113], Entwisle, Henderson, Short, Bouma & Fengying, [52], Hamilton, [75], Danes, et al. [37], Glover, [67], have focused on gender issues in family businesses.

Remery, et al. [146] analysed to what extent women are involved in the actual succession process in family firms and gender differences in terms of capabilities and ambition. They found few differences between male and female successors in the level of education, although female successors are more likely to be university educated than male successors. However, their results show that there is a clear gender difference regarding ownership; men strive more often for full ownership, whereas women opt for shared ownership, even when controlling for relevant variables such as the presence of children Remery, et al. [146]. Similarly, Lee, et al. [107] also find that the socialised gender perspective of the business owner is a key contextual construct. Studies investigating opportunities for women in family businesses reveal instances of (veiled or open) discrimination and present proposals to overcome these obstacles to make better use of women’s potential Curimbaba, [34], Lee, et al. [107], Remery et al. [146].

Unfortunately, as in their examination of gender role and job preferences, Kaufman and White (2015) state that gender is a stronger predictor of job values than other demographic characteristics and gender egalitarianism plays an important role in a family business like other businesses Lee, et al. [107]. Gender egalitarianism is defined as “the degree to which an organisation or a society minimises gender role differences while promoting gender equality” and emphasises societal norms regarding women’s and men’s roles Javidan, Bullough & Dible, [90], Powell, Francesca & Ling, [141]. Cultures that are higher in gender egalitarianism have a higher proportion of women in positions of authority, more female participation in the labour force, and less sex segregation in employment Powell et al. [141]. In gender egalitarian cultures, men and women have more freedom to participate in the workplace and in the family, which translates into higher incomes and higher business leadership positions for women Constantinidis & Nelson, [32]. Families with more egalitarian cultures and structures are more likely to display a demand for daughter successors Overbeke & Bilimoria, [134].

Not only in business, but also within families, the roles and patterns of behaviour are often gender specific Danes & Olson, [35]. Although sons and daughters are equally well educated, even in management and business, fathers are deeply concerned about whether daughters can effectively manage the demanding tasks associated with the company. Fathers also wish to ‘protect’ their daughters from the harsh world of having to deal with business management Lingas, [109]. Such studies refer to family culture and structure that exclude daughters Barnes, [10], Curimbaba, [34], Dumas, 1990; Hollander & Bukowits, [81]. Much research has explored gendered identity in management, generating considerable debate about why women’s position in business and society differs from that of men Barrett & Moores, [11], Pringle, [144], Glover & Kaplan, [66], Kyriakidou, [105].

Although, in 2002, Astrachan’s study (2003) state that women’s preference for management in FOB might lead to smoother succession, similarly, Vera and Dean [188] assert that daughters faced greater challenges than sons in the succession process, majority of studies indicate that women are often not considered as candidates for succession Remery, et al. [146], Glover, [67], Gherardi & Perrotta, [63], Al-Dajani, et al. [2]. The specific literature indicates that when a daughter takes over the family business, the acceptability of her position is under threat: she is the first to perceive that if a son is present, then he is the “natural” successor, and she is thus constructed as an “invisible” successor Gherardi & Perrotta, [63], Glover, [67], Remery, et al. [146]. Consequently, as discussed above, the owner and the candidate successor are two main characters of the succession process and the influence of the founder on this process are accepted as a critical factor by researchers Sonfield and Lussier, [113], Zahra, [204], Gao, Bai & Shi, [61]. As cited by Sonfield and Lussier [113] in a multi-generation family business a generational shadow, shed by the founder, may be cast over the organisation and the critical processes within it. The importance of the founder and the effect on the process will be examined in the previous chapter.
Daughter as a Successor in Fobs
Researchers have examined the successful integration of offspring into a FOB, whether male specifically or not Miller et al. [121], Breton-Miller, et al. [15], Miller, et al. [120], Habbershon & Williams, [72], Habberman & Danes, [73], Chua, et al. [28]. Several studies Remery, et al. [146], Sonfield & Lussier, [167], Habberman& Danes, [73], Astrachan, [6], Dumas, [49] find that gender differences exist in FOB management succession. Historically, family business configurations focused on the male founder and his male heirs so that although mothers, wives, daughters, and female in-laws are often represented in family trees, they are included without job titles or salaries next to their names Lyman, et al. [115]. As Dumas [49] points out, it is necessary to study not only the sons in the context of family firm management but also the daughters.

Many family business studies Miller, et al. [121] Malinen, 2001; Bizri, [13] focus on sons as successors and their relationship with their fathers as owners. Unfortunately, in family businesses, succession is very much biased by gender with daughters being almost always excluded as candidates Wang, [192]. Hence, the FOB literature describes daughters as an untapped resource Dumas, [49], Lyman et al. [115], Francis, [59], underutilized resource Dumas, 1990; Dumas, [49], invisible partners Martinez Jimenez, [118], Humphreys, [87], temporary additions Martinez Jimenez, [118], noting how daughters’ abilities are generally underestimated, unrecognized, and subsequently under-utilized Wang, [192]. Humphreys, et al. [87] shows that women’s journey to FOB leadership relies on having the right skills and education to manage and lead their family firms. Wang [192] and Martinez Jimenez [118] suggest that, in the FOB succession process, daughters are almost always excluded as candidates due to an interaction of macro (socio cultural attitudes to women) and micro (individual and family) factors. However, according to Miller, et al. [121], this preference for accepting an inappropriate candidate while overlooking daughters as FOB successors may be a critical cause of succession failure, particularly for FOB survival beyond one or two generations. Recently, Glover [67] argues that this gender bias in family businesses may stem from broader societal attitudes and cultural expectations of their gendered roles in society.

The FOB literature generally focuses on obstacles and barriers facing women in FOBs, particularly invisibility and primogeniture Martinez Jimenez, [118], Wang, [192], Dumas, [50], Overbeke & Bilimoria, [134], Gilding, Gregory & Cosson, [64]. Women are rarely considered as a successor because of primogeniture, with the firstborn male child being expected to become the successor Martinez Jimenez, [118], Overbeke, et al. [134]. Various studies have examined primogeniture issues Ward, [194], Garcia-Alvarez, et al. [62], Francis, [59], Wang, [192], Humphreys, [87], demonstrating that the oldest son is seen as the primary successor candidate.

Primogeniture is an accepted approach to family business succession planning; daughters are only considered for family business succession when all descendants are female or the daughter is the first born Garcia-Alvarez, et al. [62], Curimbaba [34], Francis, [59], Hiebl [80] even finds that, in some cases, if there is no son in the family, the family business may be sold rather than passed on to the daughter. In family businesses, resistance to succession from incumbents is low, because even when children assume business leadership, they are expected to consult with their father and show him respect Yan & Sorenson, [200], Gupta & Levenburg, [71].

According to Philbrick and Fitzgerald, [139], barriers to daughter succession interact at both the macro (socio cultural) and micro (individual and family) levels. At the macro level, broad societal attitudes toward women and cultural expectations of their gendered roles in society and family are important barriers Ward, [193]. When daughters are involved in family businesses, the first concern is that the daughter’s assumed desire to become a mother and raise children while at the same time holding their position in the family business and working long hours may prevent them from raising a family, which can raise doubts about her own identity and conflict with societal expectations that she should produce offspring Cole, [30], Salganicoff, [152]. As Cole [30] notes, there is a belief that women in the family businesses continue to struggle with the traditional limitations imposed on them by others, with a general assumption that they need flexible schedules, have difficulty in reconciling private and professional spaces, struggle with child care, and are not always willing to advance in their careers Curimbaba, [34]. Masuo, Fong, Yanagida & Cabal [119] and Philbrick and Fitzgerald [139] also suggest that work-to-family conflict may be perceived by women as a lack of support from the organisation, making life particularly complex for women who manage both their family and a business.

As can be seen in this chapter, traditional cultural values and gender-based norms are dominant in family firms. Kizildag [99] stress this issue as in which traditional structures are strong and protected, female family members are kept out of the business. Beyond the traditional structure, parents feel a need to ‘protect’ their daughters (more than sons) and avoid placing them in the position of having to deal with the problems that come with managing a business Hollander & Bukowitz, [81]. Hence, Dumas [49] finds that daughters are typically brought into the family business to do “gender congruent” work, usually on a temporary basis. However, crises (e.g. health or economic problems) tend to increase the likelihood that families (and daughters themselves) consider the prospect of daughters working in the firm Dumas, [49].
Stewardship Theory and Succession Process
The family firm is conceptualised as a dual system with the properties of both a family and a business Whiteside & Herz- Brown, [196], so most models developed to explain family businesses suggest a dual rather than a single system Stafford, et al. [170]. For instance, Donaldson [45] points out that agency theory is one-sided because it examines an individual’s moral and collective behaviour while ignoring worker loyalty, pride, and identification with the organisation’s mission and goals. Therefore, stewardship is considered as a capability of family businesses by the authors Le Breton Miller& Miller, [106]. Linking stewardship theory to family business, this study argues that stewardship FOB owners dominate the FOB culture and succession process by his/her stewardship culture.

Stewardship literature suggests moving from an agency relationship toward a stewardship relationship built on trust, alignment of goals, and organisational identification. Identification with an organisation and its values is strongly related to commitment in that individuals who consider themselves as belonging to an organisation are much more likely to form stewardship relationships than others that do not identify themselves with their organisation Toivonen & Toivonen, [174], which is strongly related to succession as well. As Handler [77] notes, the greater the commitment to family business perpetuation as a family value, the more likely it is that the individual will have a positive succession experience (except when the commitment is to business means rather than business ends). Vallejo [187] also suggests that the identification level of non-family employees positively and significantly influences the profitability and the survival or continuity of family-owned businesses. Thus, stewardship theory holds that people with a high level of identification with the in which they work are more likely to behave as stewards in their relationship with the principal than people with a lower level of identification Vallejo- Martos & Puentes-Poyatos, [186].
FOB Ownership and Effects on the Succession Process
Family business ownership is probably the most dominant ownership structure found in many national contexts and a key characteristic that distinguishes the structure of family governance from that of non-family firms Chung & Chan, [29], Dow & McGuire, [46]. This leads family members to preserve and control their values and beliefs, and disseminate these to other family members Zahra, [204], Gupta & Levenburg, [71]. Studies also indicate that, in family businesses, family ownership and family leadership are key control mechanisms Gómez-Mejía, Nuñez-Nickel, & Gutierrez, [68], Jiang & Peng, [91], Villalonga& Amit, [189] for both succession process and the performance Lissoni, Pereira, Almeida & Serra, [111], Ward, [192] Additionally, family business owners’ succession intention will not only be solely affected by their wills but also by the institutional environment Zhou, Hu, Yao & Qin, [205] like culture, capital market characteristics and legal frameworks Dow & McGuire, [46].

Most of the literature on family business shows that founders intend to continues their business through next-generation family members: children first, followed by other family members Hartel, Bozer & Levin, [78], Garcia-Alvarez, et al. [62]. However, family members often hold all the key leadership positions, often chair the board of directors or serve as board members to control their family firms, frequently preventing non-family members from taking key leadership positions Lipman, [110], Chu, [26]. Therefore, non-family members are unlikely to hold leadership positions in FOBs Ward, [192]. Thus, family descendants are the first option for a founder’s succession Garcia-Alvarez, et al. [62].

Similarly, family-firm founders exhibit stronger requirements for control and are less likely to delegate power so family firms tend to be centralised and controlled by the founder’s beliefs Brice & Jones, [16]. Uhlaner, Hoy, Eddleston and Kellermanns [181] use the term ‘‘family management’’ to contrast with ‘‘professional management”. Although some studies find that, in family businesses, family ownership and family leadership are key control mechanisms Gómez-Mejía, et al., [68], Jiang & Peng, [91], Villalonga & Amit, [189], recently, family business groups are starting to introduce diversity of ownership and management configurations Chung & Chan, [29]. This issue was examined by Villalonga and Amit [189] and their results show that founding families retain control and give the firm a competitive advantage, whereas non-founding families and individuals seem to act exclusively in their own interest. According to Huang, Ding and Kao [85], family firms are also less likely to seek external sources of information due to the strong social ties within the organisation, which supports Chung and Chan [29]. Miller, et al. [120] investigated the choice between a family business owned leader or non-family owned, finding that family member leaders do better than non-family leaders when firms are smaller and family ownership is more concentrated; however, they perform less well than non-family leaders when firms are larger and family ownership is more diffuse.

Some family businesses suffer from a lack of human resources because parents tend to offer investment opportunities to their children Lubatkin, Ling & Schulze, [112], even if they have insufficient skills for international entrepreneurship and even though hiring the right person is accepted as one of the most important functions of human resource management Busser, [17], Collings & Wood, [31]. However, in terms of ownership and management, there is significant evidence that family businesses are quite reluctant to accept non-family ownership Vadnjal & Zupan, [185]. In minority-owned family firms, however, the preference for hiring family members may be culturally rooted and not based on business needs alone Shinnar, Cho & Rogoff, [163].
Method
One of the main reasons for choosing this daughters’ succession process as a research issue is that in FOBs, successor selection is very much biased by gender, with daughters being usually excluded as candidates Wang, [192]. Therefore, an interpretivist and social constructivist philosophies are used to assess FOB members’ own perceptions that they construct, in order to able to examine daughter succession process.

From an interpretivist perspective, the social world of management and business is too complex to be formulated in natural science theories and laws Walliman, [191]. Interpretivism also argues that are many truths and meanings of a simple fact, with several factors affecting the nature of individuals, such as differences in individual living standards, social and cultural environment, or personality and family groups Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, [153], Johnson & Christensen, [92]. As mentioned earlier, the literature suggests that succession encompasses many activities. These include training the successor from childhood onwards Sharma, Chrisman & Chua, [159], getting information about the family and business, becoming familiar with family culture Cabrera-Suarez, et al. [18], and selecting and training the successor in appropriate skills and experience to lead the organisation into its next phase Dyck, Starke, Mischke, & Mauws, [51]. Social constructivism and interpretive research must begin with the assumption that access to reality passes through social constructions such as language and shared meanings Wilkinson & Birmingham, [198]. Both perspectives hold that reality is unique to each individual and to the manner in which each individual, given their own unique set of circumstances and life experiences, constructs, experiences, and/or interprets their world Quinlan, [145].

This research adopts a qualitative approach since this approach is generally most suited to gaining an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon or situation under study Huff & Smith, [86]. Following an interpretivist philosophy as part of the social constructivist perspective, this action research data is collected either in collaboration with the research participants, namely the FOB owners and daughters, or by the participants themselves in order to understand the cultural context and to bring about direct and immediate practical change in the context of the research Andrews, [3].
Data Collection
This study collected data from family businesses through semi-structured interviews with each company’s owner and daughter. While structured interviews have a formalised set of questions, semi-structured interviews are flexible, allowing the interviewer to raise new questions during the interview according to the interviewee’s responses Shaw & Gould, [162]. As defined by Kvale and Brinkman [104], a semi-structured qualitative research interview aims at obtaining descriptions of the life world of the interviewee in order to interpret the meaning of the described phenomena. In this study, semi-structured qualitative research interviews were used to obtain the FOB owner’s opinions about selecting his daughter as a successor in order to interpret their considerations on FOB succession. In general, a frequent form of participant engagement in the semi-structured interview is intended to achieve clarification and understanding, and engaging for clarification ensures, as much as possible, accurate interpretation Galletta, [60].
Data Analysis
For the purposes of this study, family-owned and managed organisations were defined as those where 51% or more of the business was controlled by the family, decisions about management or ownership were influenced by family members, and two or more members of the immediate family (i.e. father, mother, daughter or son) were employed and actively participating in the firm’s management Dumas, [49]. While FOB researchers use various forms of this definition, the common factor is that the FOBs are managed and controlled by family members.

In individual interviews, 20 fathers and daughters told their succession stories. The interviews were designed to allow participants to reflect and select content relevant to themselves and their experiences. The researcher conducted the interviews on a one-to-one basis. The language spoken was Turkish, the main language of the researcher and all interview partners. Interviews varied in length from 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the length of the participants’ explanations. The sets of open-ended, semistructured interview questions were prepared by the researchers to understand the participants’ opinions about succession under the influence of Turkish national culture.

From each company, the first target group of interview partners were female successor candidates who were actively involved in their family’s business. The second group of interview partners were the fathers of first target group who are still actively working in the business. The qualitative design of this research presented the voices of fathers and daughters as family business incumbents and successors respectively. The interviews were designed to allow participants to reflect and select content relevant to themselves and their experiences. The researcher conducted the interviews on a one-to-one basis during spring 2015. The language spoken was Turkish, the main language of the researcher and all interview partners. Interviews varied in length from 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the length of the participants’ explanations.
Results and Discussion
Incumbent Related Factors and Primogeniture
The purpose of this study was to investigate how are the key factors identified by the incumbents related to the primogeniture and demographic factors for incumbents related with their primogeniture approach in Turkish FOBs

In order to capture the FOB’s personal approach to selecting a daughter as a successor FOB owner (O) was asked a couple of questions. First, they were asked “Is there a certain successor for the leadership of the company? If succession is expected, has a date been set or announced?”

We classified answers as a “Certain Successor” under the six subheadings; (1) Daughter, even though she has an eldest brother, (2) Daughter, as an eldest child, (3) Daughter, since there is no other option, (4) Son, as an eldest kid, (5) Son, even though he has an eldest sister, (6) Son in law.

As an overall analysis, only four FOB owners (O4, O10, O15, O19), who has an eldest son, show to much desire for to leave their business to their sons but, since their boys’ decide to choose another carrier, and due to sector (jewellery and pastry) and their sons’ low interest, daughters were chosen as a successor.

Six FOB owners decided to leave their business to their daughter without any doubt, however they do have only daughters and they do not have any other choice. Therefore, these results do not help to identify owners’ approach about primogeniture.

On the other hand, when we look at the responds of other FOB owners, who has eldest son, want to hand over his business to their son. Three owners even though they have an eldest daughter, want to hand over his business to their son. They both stated that even though they both have daughters, they desired to make their son a new leader after them. At one company, even though the daughter is the eldest child, she was not considered a viable successor by her father because the business is in farming.

Surprisingly, in one case, even though he has three daughters want to leave their business to his biggest son in law. In three cases

FOB owners think their daughter will be able to manage their organisations, however, they think their business sector (Supermarket, construction, sunflower oil) is not suitable for daughters.

As an overall consideration of the first question; FOB owners’ selected successors and reasons are shown below table 1.
Table 1:Selected successors with reasons

Next Successor selected by the FOB owner

Percentage

Daughter, even though she has an eldest brother

20%

Daughter, as an eldest child

10%

Daughter, since there is no other option

30%

Son, as an eldest kid

20%

Son, even though he has an eldest sister

15%

Son in law

5%

As an overall analysis; if the owner has an eldest son they do not think to give any chance to their daughters. According to primogeniture; daughters are only considered for family business succession when all descendants are female or the daughter is the first born. Results showed that daughters were generally preferred as a successor when all descendants are female or firstborn son do not consider taking over the business. On the other hand, when we look at the results, one of the most interesting decision was given by the owners was to hand over his business to his son, even though they have an eldest daughter.

In another question FOB owners were asked, “Whether gender makes any difference when evaluating the successor and how?

Like previous quotes, the majority of FOB owners think the business life is not suitable for a woman. As an overall consideration of the question 2, eleven out of twelve FOB owners state that gender is an important factor for choosing a successor, because some of them state the importance of the sector and some mentioned the regional cultural characteristics. On the other hand, nine interview partners did not agree with evaluating gender while considering their successor, instead stating that they just look at talent.

According to interview results, FOBs demographics who did not agree with evaluating gender while considering their successor as follows table 2.
Table 2:FOB owners’ demographics, who did not consider gender while choosing the successor

FOB Owners

Age

Education

Sector

Location

Generation

O3

59

University

Textile

Central Anatolia

1st

O6

63

University

Transformer

Aegean Region

1st

O7

54

Master

Construction

Istanbul

1st

O8

57

University

Chemicals

Istanbul

1st

O10

53

University

Furniture

Northern Region

3rd

O13

58

PhD

Chemical

Istanbul

1st

O14

71

Master

Transformer

Aegean Region

2nd

O17

51

University

Olive Oil

Aegean Region

1st

O20

57

PhD

Smart Card

Istanbul

1st

According to Dyer 1986 there is a temporal sequence of patterns throughout the succession process: a path starting out with a paternalistic culture during the founder’s reign, becoming a laissez-faire culture or possibly a participative culture when the second generation takes over the firm’s management, ending with a professional culture in the third and subsequent generations. However, Casimiro and Chambel 2014and Yang 2015 point out that Dyer’s cultural patterns do not generalise to every family business, although the family business literature repeatedly stresses that the paternalistic culture is mostly seen in first-generation family businesses.

The current study examined the family business owners’ leadership characteristics, through interviews with FOB owners and daughters to provide deep insights about their assumptions and related succession stories.

According to the results, in contrast to current assumptions, Turkish family businesses, especially new generations tend to adopt a laissez-faire culture rather than paternalistic. Whereas previous researchers suggested that some cultural patterns are related to specific generations, this study finds that FOB cultural patterns and leadership characteristics are more related to the owners’ educational level, age, and the environment where they grew up and set up their business than to which FOB generation they are. Results show that, majority of the FOB owners who did not consider gender while choosing the successor are first generation entrepreneurs.

As another question, in order to understand more in terms of gendered assumptions, FOB owners were asked “If you had an older son, would you have chosen your daughter as the successor? Why?

To able to evaluating FOB owners’ gendered norms, when we look at the quotes; the majority (14 out of 20) leaders agree upon to not to choose their daughter as a successor if he has an eldest son. O2 and O12 think it is a succession rule and they don’t do it. O12 also stressed the importance of the sector. O4, O10 and O15, even though they will hand over their businesses to their daughters, they don’t think it is fair and added, if their sons accepted to be the next leader, they wouldn’t have chosen their daughters as a successor. Moreover, O10, O11 and O19 stated that not only them no one would choose their youngest daughter if she has an eldest son.

Rest of six owners agree upon the importance of the capabilities and performance, they think that the gender is not important for choosing a successor. They think, they would choose their youngest daughter as a successor, if she has sufficient characteristics, experience and talent.

In order to able to understand the demographics of the leaders who would choose their youngest daughter as a successor, if she has sufficient characteristics, we analysed their demographics below in table 3.
Table 3:FOB Owners demographics, which would choose their youngest daughter as a successor

FOB Owners

Age

Education

Sector

Location

Generation

O5

68

University

Metal

Aegean Region

1st

O6

63

University

Transformer

Aegean Region

1st

O7

54

Master

Construction

Istanbul

1st

O8

57

University

Chemicals

Istanbul

1st

O17

51

University

Olive&Olive Oil

Aegean Region

1st

O20

57

PhD

Smart Card

Istanbul

1st

Interestingly, interview results show that all the owners who would choose their youngest daughter as a next leader if she has sufficient characteristics and experience are the first generation of their businesses. As an indicator, their education level is considerable higher than that never choose his daughter as a next leader if he had an older son.

Finally, 20 FOB owners were asked “Do you think Turkey is a favourable country for woman managers? Why?

When asked to evaluate Turkey as a favourable country for women managers, 4 out of 20 fathers stressed location and think in some regions business life is not easy for a woman. On the other hand, 9 FOB owners think Turkey is a very favourable country for woman entrepreneurs. Demographics of these two different groups are shown in table 4 and table 5.
Table 4:FOB owners’ demographics, who think “Turkey is a favourable country for woman entrepreneurs”

FOB Owners

Age

Education

Sector

Location

Generation

O6

63

University

Transformer

Aegean Region

1st

O7

54

Master

Construction

Istanbul

1st

O8

57

University

Chemicals

Istanbul

1st

O11

65

High School

Catering

Istanbul

3rd

O13

58

PhD

Chemical

Istanbul

1st

O14

71

Master

Transformer

Aegean Region

2nd

O15

66

High School

Bakery

Aegean Region

3rd

O17

51

University

Olive Oil

Aegean Region

1st

O20

57

PhD

Smart Card

Istanbul

1st

Table 5:FOB Owners’ demographics, who think “Turkey is not a favourable country for woman entrepreneurs”

FOB Owners

Age

Education

Sector

Location

Generation

O1

69

University

Jewellery

Aegean region

2nd

O2

72

High School

Supermarket

Aegean Region

2nd

O3

59

University

Textile

Central Anatolia

1st

O4

52

University

Kitchenware

Central Anatolia

3rd

O5

68

University

Metal

Aegean Region

1st

O9

73

High School

Newspaper

Istanbul

1st

O10

53

University

Furniture

Northern Region

3rd

O12

55

University

Construction

Istanbul

2nd

O16

64

High School

Sunflower Oil

Thrace Region

1st

O18

62

Primary School

Carpet

Central Anatolia

2nd

O19

71

Primary School

Jewellery

Northern Region

1st

Results show that, FOBs in large and modern cities, like Istanbul, Izmir (In Aegean Region) think Turkey is a favourable city for woman entrepreneurs. On the other hand, FOBs, in Central Anatolia and Northern Region on Turkey tend to think it is not favourable for woman entrepreneurs. One of the other demographic factors that affecting this assumption can be seen as education. Interview results show how the education level of FOB owner may be relevant characteristics determining their vision.

One of the family-specific factors affecting succession is motivation from the family. The literature emphasises the importance of education and experience for daughters to gain leadership positions Kaslow, 2006; Dumas, [49], Vera and Dean, [188], Wang, [192] and Gallo and Point (1994) find that the most successful international family firms are those whose successors have education and work experience outside their home country as well as outside their company. In several cases in this study, the daughters reported that they were encouraged by their family to gain education and experience. This generally had an important facilitating effect on succession.

The reflective, semi-structured interviews allowed the daughter participants to share, in their own words, their perceptions and understandings of their experiences that led to their current positions of leadership in their family businesses. FOB owners’ daughters (D) asked, “What kind of work experience do you have? Did you work outside the family business? If yes, why did you leave? What do you bring to the family business as a result of this work? Did the family business encourage you in outside work experience? Why or why not?” Participants were encouraged to say as much as they wanted before further probing questions were asked.

In a number of cases in this study, the daughters reported that they were encouraged by their family to gain education and experience. Some (D3, D19) reported that they have an outside experience even though they were not encouraged, while some (D17, D20) reported they don’t have, even though, they were encouraged. Such daughters, who represent 50% of the sample, as can be seen on the table, have very well-educated families table 6.
Table 6:Family structure of motivated successors

Daughter

Run by generation

Father’s Education/age

Mother’s education

D1

2nd

University / 52

High School

D4

3rd

University / 52

Primary School

D7

1st

Master degree / 54

University

D8

1st

University / 57

University

D10

3rd

University / 53

High School

D12

1st

University / 55

University

D13

1st

PhD / 58

University

14

2nd

Master / 71

University

17

1st

University / 51

High School

20

1st

PhD / 57

Master

On the other hand, ten participants reported that they were not encouraged by their families to gain outside experience. As can be mentioned in literature review section paternalism occurs in a hierarchical relationship between a “superior” and “subordinate” who occupy different roles and the role of the “superior” is provide care, protection and guidance to the “subordinate” in both work and non-work domains Mussolino & Calabro, 2014. In a broad sense, in the FOB context, paternalist FOB owners seem to protect daughters not only from the outside experience but also working life. Additionally, as can be seen at Table, 70% of daughters’ who hasn’t got any outside experience works in FOBs, the only one has a university graduated father, rest of those 70%’s father is graduated from high school and lower. When we look at those 70%’s mothers’ education, the highest degree is high school graduation table 7.
Table 7:Family education of daughters, who did not motivated by their families

Daughter

Run by generation

Father’s education/age

Mother’s education

2

2nd

High School / 72

Primary School

3

1st

University / 59

High School

5

1st

University / 68

University

6

1st

University

High School

9

1st

High School

Primary School

11

2nd

High School / 65

Primary School

15

3rd

High School / 66

High School

16

1st

High School / 64

High School

18

2nd

Primary School / 62

Primary School

19

1st

Primary School / 71

Primary School

Family characteristics influence the successor’s development because they affect the quality of the relationship between predecessor and successor, and the level of family commitment to the business. This section has shown that uneducated family business owners do not tend to send their daughters another company to gain outside experience whereas educated families support and encourage their daughters to do this.

In 12 cases, either under their family’s influence or through their own decision, early commitment during childhood or as the basis of their educational choice was reported as a motivation factor by the daughters. During interviews conducted for this study, daughters who work at their family business made the statements that demonstrate the research approach and provide an induction for the topic the study will investigate. Quotes demonstrating early commitment attributes in twelve interview partners can be found below.

Table 8 gives an overview of the early committed daughters’ motivation issues. In a number of cases, there was a clear interest in the activities of the family business. Additionally, some reported a general interest in the business, which influences their decisions.

Six interview partners also expressed the feeling a connection between employees. Interview partners D1, D3, D5, D7, and D13 reported feeling the father’s wish early for the child to join the family business. D5 reported having felt a sense of responsibility and obligation to the family. D4 made their decision rather early, as their decisions also depended on their older brother’s decision. D11 mentioned the need to combine work and childcare demands as reasons for considering joining the family business. D11 stressed the financial issue as a motivation factor and having more holidays was also stressed by D5 as a pushing factor to the business. The comments of D3, D6, and D9 demonstrated their great respect for their fathers’ sacrifice for the business, highlighting the importance of their fathers’ efforts to enable them to run the businesses, and his necessity to push them to work there table 8
Table 8:Early committed daughters’ motivation factors in FOBs

Company

Motivation issues

1

-Education
-Helping the father

3

-Education
-Father’s entrepreneurial characteristics
-Helping the father

5

-Education, Family’s encouragement
-Absence of another successor
-Making money easily
-Make holiday more

6

-Admiring father’s sacrifice to their business

7

-Giving more confidence and trust by the family
-Role model family members

8

-Giving more confidence and trust by the family
-Growing up in the business

9

-Helping to her father

11

-Education
-Making money easily
-Need to combine work and childcare

12

-Reducing father’s workload
-Admiring father’s sacrifice to their business

13

-Father’s strong enthusiasm to their business and his entrepreneurial characteristics

14

-Education
-Father’s great entrepreneurial characteristics
-General interest in the business

17

 -Encouraged by father
-Feeling father’s high trust
-Father’s great entrepreneurial characteristics
-Growing up in the business

As the leaders of the family business and the person to choose their successors, fathers’ assessments of their daughters’ capabilities may influence their decision to appoint a daughter as a successor (Overbeke et al., 2015). In many cases, the daughters in this study mentioned that their father’s decision was important and was aware of the importance of their relationship with their father to be selected, as the following comments demonstrate.

“We have a very close relationship with him. He always respects my work and appreciates my effort. I am happy about the relationship between us.” (D1)

“He is the Chairman of the Board and the main decision maker. I am dealing with Human Resources and Brand Management. We have generational gaps as do all daughters and fathers but we are working in harmony. He is quite a paternalistic father in the business. He wants to control everything that has been done.” (D2)

“He is respectful and encouraging but it was also hard to earn it. He wants me to decide on lots of things but sometimes I need support.” (D5)

“I am happy that I have worked together with my father because I am a real daddy’s little girl and to me, my father was always my security blanket. I am happy about it.” (D7)

“I am always my father’s little girl and I gave up insisting on changing it. Because of his attitude, employees never see me as an ordinary employee. I am everybody’s little sappy staff. I don’t care at the moment but I don’t know what I will feel when I am getting older.” (D14)

“I am very happy about our relationship. He is always the same, whether at home or at the factory.” (D17)

A cooperative relationship between father and daughter is seen as beneficial for the succession process. However, this relationship can be harmed by conflict or leave the successor unspecified. As well as the relationship with the incumbent, a positive relationship between daughter and brother can help the daughter take over. For example, even though D13 has not yet been named as the successor, she implies that her good relationship with her twin brother also strengthens her relationship with her father:

“We don’t talk of those kinds of things in our business and my father always says he will leave this business to us. He always wants us to work on ourselves. He says, the more we improve this business, the more we will be happy and comfortable. We do everything with my brother and I think we will run it together without indicating that one is more responsible than the other.” In a couple of cases, however, conflict reported between cousins was found to harm the daughter’s succession chances.

Additionally, this study shows that traditional patriarchal family leaders cannot establish a close relationship with their daughters and fail to consider their daughters as a successor. This was found to be relevant in four succession cases.

The following accounts illustrate these daughters’ descriptions of their relationship with their father.

He is the Chairman of the Board and the main decision maker. I am dealing with Human resources and Brand Management. We have generational gaps as do all daughters and fathers but we are working in harmony. He is quite a paternalistic father in the business. He wants to control everything that has been done. I want him to be more relaxed, more objective and to give us more freedom when demonstrating ourselves.” (D2)

“He is two completely different guys at home and at the factory. To be honest, I do not want to meet him with someone else.” (D16)

“We are a very strong patriarchal family. Our father didn’t carry us on his shoulders when we were kids. He didn’t use to kiss us when family members were around. We have to show respect to our family elders. I cannot blame my father because he grew up in a more paternalistic family. He is better now, but I really used to be scared of him when I first started to work.” (D18)
“He didn’t support me when I wanted to work in our business. As I said before, I had very different and bad experiences. My father knew that I was really interested in continuing to lead the company and I was also interested in a complete takeover of the business; that’s why we couldn’t establish an ordinary relationship. But now he really appreciates me a lot.” (D19)

The owner of Company 2 had not specified his successor when the interview took place, and there was serious conflict between the cousins. Similarly, at Company 16, even though D16 is the eldest child, she was not considered a viable successor by her father because the business is in farming. Company 19’s owner also tried to direct his daughter away from their family business as he wanted to hand over the business to his son However, the latter’s lack of interest gave the daughter an opportunity, who seems to work with great enthusiasm despite knowing that she has no chance of taking over the business. Results also show that family members’ relationships and the relationship with the father motivate daughters to work in their father’s FOB.

Unlike the psychological factors, which are closely linked to the conception of the model of man, situational factors focus more on aspects characterising the environment of the organisation in which the steward relationship occurs? The most important factors of this type are management philosophy and organisational culture [186]. The underlying assumptions about the model of man espoused by the founder undergird managerial philosophies that influence organisational structures and policies Hayek, et al. 2015. For instance, the founder who adopts an agency philosophy assumes that individuals within the organisation are self-interested whereas the founder who embraces the stewardship perspective maintains that individuals are trustworthy, intrinsically motivated, and stewards.

Stewardship relationships can only arise when the necessary situational factors and structures related to the organisation are in place, and when the individuals involved have appropriate psychological profiles Toivonen & Toivonen, [174].

Companies try to create what they regard as the optimal conditions to produce goods or deliver services. However, local conditions, particularly industrial relations and legal arrangements, may prevent companies freely determining their companies’ working and employment conditions Schief, 2010. Although a wide variety of barriers has been examined in the literature on daughters’ succession, the importance of a FOB’s location has been ignored.

For example, Kimelberg and Williams 2013 studied the importance of business location factors but not the family business or daughters’ exclusion. In many cases in the current study, the daughters considered the location of the family business unsuitable in terms of quality of life. Kimelberg and Williams 2013 define the quality of life factors as including the cost of housing, desirable natural resources, convenient transport options, and amenities, ranging from restaurants and nightlife to cultural and sporting events. Because of their quality of life expectations, in some cases, daughters viewed the family business’s location as a major barrier to their succession.

D3, for example, stated, “I wanted to stay in Istanbul, but our factory was bigger than the one I worked for and I thought I could improve myself and our business by working for us. Additionally, my salary wasn’t enough for life in Istanbul. I am back to xx (The city where their factory is located in central Anatolia).” Like other successors, the new generation of Turkish entrepreneurs prefer a large metropolis, like Istanbul, over smaller cities. However, even though D3 had tried to live in Istanbul, she had finally decided to return to her family’s business area although she intended to leave the small city because she did not want to spend her life there. In another case, D10 stressed that location was a main concern for her succession “I am working in our family business but we are in different cities. I manage our headquarters and I am responsible for customer relations and HR staff with other responsibilities. The sustainability of our business depends on finding a very successful manager in place of my father because I can’t live in that city. This is my biggest concern and I am sure it will be the problem when the succession occurs.” Similarly, D19 stated (Appendix 2: Question 7), “The shop I own is in Istanbul. Our first shop and workshop is in another city. Luckily my father hasn’t been thinking to leave yet, but if he resigns, I think the employees who work there will be upset by his absence.” When asked for her advice to other daughters engaged in succession, D10 again stressed location “If they are not living in the same city of their factory, they should know that it will be very difficult.” One father wanting to hand over the business to his son also mentioned this factor.

When asked whether gender makes any difference when evaluating the successor, he responded, “It is very important for our culture, especially in the Black Sea region. Every father wants to leave his business to his sons. But, unfortunately, my son did not do it, did not work in this sector. He graduated in the US, and it affected his lifestyle very much; and when he came back, he couldn’t cope with Turkish business life, especially in our sector. But, as I said, gender is very important for even choosing the manager.” As shown in this case, sometimes location may help rather than hinder the daughters.

When asked to evaluate Turkey as a favourable country for women managers, one father, O4, stressed location, “Especially here (The city where they operate is in northeast Turkey); that’s why my daughter prefers to stay in Istanbul. Istanbul is a more European city; people are used to seeing women in business life. My daughter spent 7 years in Europe and she is very familiar with its culture. Therefore, she doesn’t care what people think about her. But here it is very important and she won’t be able to live that life here.” O10 and O16 also mentioned location: “I cannot generalise it. When my daughter comes here (the northern Turkish city where O10’s business is situated), she says she is not as comfortable as she is in Istanbul. People concentrate on their family life more here, rather than their business life, especially women. They don’t prefer to work even though they have a university degree. Istanbul is different, but in this region, it is not easy for a woman.”

“Our factory is very close to Istanbul and my daughter lives in Istanbul and goes to our office every day regularly and sometimes comes here to our (O16’s) factory (based very close to Istanbul in a small city on the European side). She says she is more comfortable in Istanbul. I mean, I cannot say the whole of Turkey is favourable to women leaders, but I can say Istanbul is suitable for them.”

In this study, 4 of 20 (D4, D10, D16 and D19) successor daughters live in a different city to that of their family business. In two cases (D4, D10), having an education abroad is a key reason for their preferences. Both of these interview partners indicated the importance of “quality of life” that they cannot find where the family business is. Similarly, D16 finds her hometown and the location of their factory area very conservative compared to Istanbul. In short, the location of the business should be considered as an important factor in daughters’ succession process since expectations about the quality of life for the new generation of Turkish women may facilitate or hinder FOB succession.
Conclusions
The aim of the current study was to better understand daughter succession and the succession decision process in Turkish FOBs from the perspectives of the incumbent, using the principles of stewardship theory. This study examined the nature of such family businesses in an attempt to explain why some family businesses in Turkey accept daughters as a successor easily and others do so with difficulty.

The conceptual framework of the study presented key drivers and challenges identified in the extant literature and introduced issues of succession, drivers, contributions, and challenges in selecting daughters’ as a successor. Drawing on empirical material collected through semi-structured interviews with participant FOB owners and daughters, the study highlighted the importance of FOB owners’ demographics in the daughter succession process in Turkish FOBs.

The current analysis revealed several gendered assumptions stemming from the business culture. The succession process, especially a daughter’s succession, was deeply influenced by the owner’s gendered attitudes. It comes as no surprise that several incumbent FOB owners declared that gender is an important factor in selecting a successor. Majority of FOB owners, who were all male, acknowledged the importance of gender while evaluating the successor selection process. They stressed the difficulties of being a woman in business life, seeing marriage and motherhood as barriers to women’s employment, and assuming that business life in Turkey is a man’s world. Additionally, some owners considered the business sector of their company as a barrier for women, claiming that, as well as gender being an important factor for evaluating the successor, the company’s business sector also plays an important role.

The most important and interesting result is that some owners did not agree with evaluating gender while considering their successor, claiming that they just look at talent. This appears to be related to their educational backgrounds rather than cultural norms because two of them had PhDs, two had master degrees while the other four had all graduated from universities.

This study show that gendered norms are still considered when choosing the successor, in other word, primogeniture still dominates the family business succession process. Daughters, if they have an elder brother who does not choose another career, are not considered for leadership roles in a family business. However, in some cases, it was observed that when first-born sons reject the family business as a career option, daughters are considered as a successor. Additionally, sometimes, the sector that the family operates in is considered unsuitable for a man by the son so it opens up daughter’s succession path. However, a majority of owners tend to make their sons their next leader. In terms of entrepreneurship characteristics, research indicates that some cultures are more supportive of entrepreneurship activities. For instance, entrepreneurship tends to be lower in collectivist cultures, in which group thinking may outweigh individual initiative so few individuals would put their entrepreneurial ambitions into action. This research’s interview results show that first generation family business culture leaders more easily accept a daughter as a successor without considering gender as a critical factor. This is because the founder of the family business often displays characteristics of an entrepreneurial personality.

The interviews with the fathers also demonstrated that their first concern about their daughter’s succession stems from their guardian instinct, thinking that business life is unsuitable for their daughters. While a majority of fathers think that Turkey is an unfavourable country for working women, a majority also emphasise that the region within Turkey also matters. While major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, or western Turkey more generally, are suitable for women in business life, Anatolia and northern Turkey are considered unfavourable to women by both daughters and fathers. Regarding FOB employees’ views, this study demonstrates that there is no general trend across FOBs in Turkey. Even within the same city or region, the employees from separate FOBs had different attitudes regarding the daughter’s succession.

In preparing for fieldwork, an interesting finding was that whereas all the women contacted for an interview agreed to participate, it was difficult to persuade fathers to do so, which highlights a generational difference regarding FOB privacy. Similarly, most FOB owners did not give information about their FOB’s rules. Even though they were assured of keeping the information safe, they feel their FOB like their own family and privacy is considered as their safety. This study confirms that a majority of Turkish families are still paternalistic, especially regarding their daughters, both within the family and in their family business. While education, work experience, interpersonal relations, foreign language skills, and family ties are push factors for the fathers, work experience, recognition by employees, and interpersonal relations are push factors for the daughters. On the other hand, sector and location maybe both pull and push factor for daughters, depending on the circumstances.

Regarding entrepreneurship for the new generation of Turkish women, a majority of the fathers believe there are no limits to what their daughters can achieve in business life. Due to being well-prepared, educated, and experienced, Turkish women entrepreneurs no longer feel any differences from their male counterparts in business life. However, even though FOB owner and family accept their daughters’ capacities and capabilities for managing the organisation, the majority of them agree with Turkey’s paternalistic environment, as well as cultural factors for accepting daughters as an entrepreneur.

This study investigated daughters’ succession in FOBs in Turkey, a developing country where women are less likely than men to engage in entrepreneurial activities.
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