Perspectives in Business Succession in the Gulf
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Upon the sudden departure of a family leader, major upheavals arise in the absence of proper succession strategies. Within this context small family business succession should receive increased prominence. Literature on family business succession is virtually nonexistent, and very little is known of how Arabs continue with business beyond one generation of leaders. It is a strong belief among Muslims that Islam gives guidance to all aspects of life including the law of succession so that each eligible person gets their due share. In embracing Western values, the issues of family business succession will become major issues in Arab societies. The results of this study indicate: that in family businesses formal education is not likely to be valued implying that incumbent expects the successor to have more on the job training rather than in-class education; and that a family enterprise that has decided to keep management control within the family cannot possibly hope to achieve this without family members who are trusted by the incumbent. The issue that needs to be further explored: who earns that trust - sons or daughters and what are the trust engendering issues in businesses in the Gulf.