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Career Paths in Institutional Business Elites: Finnish Family Firms from 1762–2010

  • JUHA KANSIKAS (a1)

Abstract

This article analyzes the career paths of family business executives in institutional business elites in Finland using an empirical database based on a Bourdieusian prosopographical approach. The results indicate that career paths became more complex but shortened in length toward the beginning of the twenty-first century. The early career paths of family executives changed from positions as assistants and salesmen in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to governance, chief executive officer (CEO), and management positions in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Compared with the founder generation, next-generation family members benefited from more rapid institutional business elite career paths. The complexity of the career paths in the institutional business elite increased in subsequent generations. However, although there were few family executives with a third- or fourth-generation background in family businesses, founder-generation family executives existed in each cohort, apart from the pioneering generation.

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