Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Summer 7-5-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Second Advisor

Wesley Johnston

Third Advisor

Satish Nargundkar


Family businesses balance profit with family, employee, and consumer needs and touch almost every facet of the private and public sectors. At the same time, family businesses must manage the challenging processes attributed to the critical, never-ending succession task. Against that backdrop, we aim to explore how family businesses thrive through multiple successions, focused on how critical path junctures work to create succession trajectories over time. Based on close collaboration with Kinsmith Finance, we researched how family businesses can secure successful successions and increased business longevity across several generations through combinations of path creation episodes adapted to new, emerging circumstances and path dependence episodes that reinforce previous decisions. Hence, designed as a longitudinal case study, we investigated Kinsmith Finance’s three successions as unique cases displaying combinations of path creation and path dependence episodes. As a result, this dissertation contributes to the literature by adapting the theory of path constitution to the context of family business succession. We also provide empirical insights into 79 years of evolution in a family business. Finally, we offer practical insights on path constitution in the context of family business succession.


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