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What makes SMEs attractive to external successors?
Institute of Entrepreneurship, University of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Liechtenstein.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8469-2427
Institute of Entrepreneurship, University of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
2010 (English)In: Vine: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, ISSN 0305-5728, E-ISSN 1474-1032, Vol. 40, no 2, 108-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Taking company succession as an alternative means of embarking on an entrepreneurial activity, the aim of this study is to explore those intangible assets that are regarded as attractive from the viewpoints of external successors. Thereby, the focal point is on the preparation stage in which promising companies are identified and scrutinised. Design/methodology/approach: The strategy of research behind this paper is the application of a mixed methods approach that is divided into an internet-mediated questionnaire and a series of in depth interviews (given priority). Findings: The findings suggest that intangible assets have a notable influence on the intention of an external successor to take over a company. This would suggest that the traditional issues considered with regard to company succession, such as tax, legal and financial aspects, should be extended to include intangible aspects. The findings are summarized by proposing a framework for the role of intangibles in external succession, thereby highlighting critical intangibles as perceived by external successors. Research limitations/implications: This explorative study is by no means exhaustive; however it is regarded as a valuable fundament for further research activities associated with the role of intangible assets in terms of company succession, particularly external succession. Practical implications: The framework appears to be a valuable tool for understanding the importance of intangibles in external company succession in general and particularly their influence on external successors' business acquisition intentions. The findings are particularly considered as helpful for incumbent-owners who plan to sell off their companies. Originality/value: The study's findings can be viewed as a new perspective on company succession as it highlights the intangible assets that make a company attractive to external successors. Given the increasing number of small to medium-sized enterprises waiting to be transferred to new owners, these findings are highly important as they provide a more holistic view of the dynamics of company succession (and external succession in particular). © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010. Vol. 40, no 2, 108-135 p.
Keyword [en]
Acquisitions, Buying behaviour, Intangible assets, Small to medium-sized enterprises, Design/methodology/approach, Entrepreneurial activity, Financial aspects, In-depth interviews, Research activities, Small to medium-sized enterprise, Research, Mergers and acquisitions
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-10030DOI: 10.1108/03055721011050640ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77952326094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-10030DiVA: diva2:750746
Available from: 2014-09-30 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2014-12-16Bibliographically approved

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Durst, Susanne
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