One of the key moments in the history of a family business is when one generation hands over the reins to the next. Many of the large family businesses in Germany have already completed at least one change of generations. That is why, in its series of surveys on “Germany’s next generation of business owners”, the Foundation for Family Businesses has taken a closer look at the question of what the next generation thinks, what its concerns are and what it sees as the focus of its business.
The future of a family business is inextricably linked to how well the handover to the next generation is managed. That is why it is also important from an academic perspective to find out about the attitudes and values of potential successors to family businesses. For many years now, the Friedrichshafen Institute for Family Businesses at Zeppelin University has been carrying out research on behalf of the Foundation for Family Businesses into precisely how “Germany’s next generation of business owners” think and act.
The series of studies entitled Germany’s next generation of business owners is the most comprehensive survey of potential successors to family businesses in the German-language area. A key finding of the most recent instalment of this study series is that the next generation of business owners has a firm set of values. They set great store by family, respect for others and personal responsibility.
The study also reveals that the young generation is confident about taking on future responsibility for a business. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents said they were likely to assume the role of managing director of their own family business. Another key aspect of the study is that the young generation is also determined to continue pushing the digital transformation of their respective family businesses.