Academic Research and articles dedicated to SME transfer

  • "Avenues to improve success in SME business transfers: reflections on theories, research and policies"
    Pr. Lex van Teeffelen, HU Utrecht Business School, Research Centre for Innovation and Business, presented on 13 April 2012

    This booklet presents an overview of recent knowledge, research and national and international policies in the field of business transfers. Chapter 1 delineates the domain and the theories, and formulates the research agenda. Chapter 2 deals with the importance of business transfers for national economies in Europe and provides a framework for policies regarding business transfers. Chapter 3 looks at the profiles of acquirers and successors in comparison to starters, and the effects of their profiles on business results. Chapter 4 sets out issues requiring attention in the field of practice. This includes the use of the succession scan, an instrument that helps entrepreneurs determine their position in the run-up to selling the firm.
    Full paper

  • "PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS IN BUSINESS TRANSFERS - HOW TO COPE WITH THE TRANSFER OF SME OWNERSHIP" by Edwin Weesie, Researcher, HU Utrecht Business School, presented on 1 December 2017

    Main lessons learned research how to cope with psychological barriers in the business transfer process

    What is your research about?

    This research project is about entrepreneurs and the sale of their company. Many owners/ managers in the SME market find it difficult to sell their company. Although finances and market forces play a role, we believe that psychological barriers inhibit people to close a deal. We researched what barriers entrepreneurs experience, the related stress and most importantly what techniques are used to overcome the barriers. 

    What surprises did you find in your study?

    We found that entrepreneurs experience only 5 important barriers: Letting go of firm engagement, Fear for future emptiness, Distrusting the successor and underestimation planning, Handing over leadership and stepping down, and Choosing between children as successors. To our surprise, the way entrepreneurs deal with these barriers is mainly passive. They do not take action to solve the problem but choose to deal with the related stress. For example denial, venting of emotions, use of stimulating substances, doing other things than working on the transfer process are found in our study.

    What specific aspects of your findings can be taken to practice? If so how?

    The research produced a validated tool to measure psychical barriers and coping strategies. This has not been done before. By filling in a list of questions (which will take approximately 10 minutes), we are now able to pinpoint barriers and how entrepreneurs can deal with these effectively. Also, we can compare our current sample of 900 entrepreneurs with individual entrepreneurs and link them to their particular market. Advisors and coaches that help in the sales process can use this information to steer the entrepreneurs in the right direction.

    More info? 
    >> English

  • Check out the papers in competition as well as the laureates of the 2011-2012 Transeo Academic Awards and 2013-2014 Transeo Academic Awards

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