International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management

Document Type



Digitalization in small- and medium-sized (SME) family firms and processes of family-external business succession within these firms are under-researched areas. As SME and their future viability are important for many economies around the world, we aim to study the effects of succession processes on those companies’ digitalization activities. Utilizing a unique data set comprising of around 340 pages of transcribed interviews within a multiple case study involving four family firms in the DACH region of Europe, we perform exploratory research of this matter. Our findings indicate that incumbent and new owner-managers focus on efficiency-related digitalization activities during succession processes. More long-term issues such as changes to business models or the exploitation of external opportunities through digitalization are underrated and postponed. Our findings contribute to both digitalization and family firm literature and we provide suggestions for future research in this regard.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.