Our social legacy will go on:Understanding outcomes of family SME succession through Engaged Buddhism

Burton, Nicholas and Vu, Mai and Discua Cruz, Allan (2022) Our social legacy will go on:Understanding outcomes of family SME succession through Engaged Buddhism. Journal of Business Research, 143. pp. 105-118. ISSN 0148-2963

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Family business succession has been typically understood as a function of safeguarding a biological, social or material legacy for future generations. While existing scholarship has suggested that family business succession to non-kin warrants further exploration, few have identified religion as an influential factor in such a process. In this study, we offer a counterintuitive illustration to existing explanations of kin succession in family businesses influenced by the role of religion. Our study of 12 Buddhist family businesses in Vietnam shows a connection between non-kin succession and Buddhist philosophy. In particular, we find that the Buddhist principles of non-attachment and impermanence were instrumental in influencing how incumbents rejected succession as a biological and material legacy process. In contrast, family businesses conceived succession as the continuance of a social legacy, whereby those who were best-placed to carry on the social legacy were selected as successors. We offer an inductive conceptual model that connects Buddhist principles to the foregrounding of a social legacy and our paper concludes with implications and opportunities for further research.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Business Research
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Business Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Business Research, 143, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.01.034
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20 Jan 2022 10:30
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 03:10