American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Understanding a Father-Daughter Succession Case: Applying the 5+5+5 Bernelli Model

Leann Mischel and Cindy Iannarelli

DOI : 10.3844/ajebasp.2011.270.276

American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Volume 3, Issue 2

Pages 270-276


Problem statement: Research on father-daughter succession in family businesses has only recently begun to get some traction. Still, examples of these situations often elude researchers. Futhermore, there has not been adequate attention paid to how children are raised in family businesses and how they learn to be entrepreneurial. Approach: This study outlines a father-daughter succession case in this unique American setting-the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. West Virginia offers an opportunity to examine family businesses embedded in the Appalachian culture-one where much of the popular and scholarly literature contend that deficiencies have contributed to, or reinforced, economic poverty and backwardness.  These ideals are now being challenged and this case offers evidence of reversal. We also use the Bernelli 5+5+5 Model as a lens through which to examine the daughter’s entrepreneurial growth in this case. Results: The Bernelli 5+5+5 Model allowed us to structure the daughter’s experiences and better understand how she got to be such a successful successor. Conclusion/Recommendations: We recommend that the Bernelli 5+5+5 Model be used as a framework to view succession in family businesses. The Model also serves as a lens through which to view and better understand how children raised in family businesses become more successful entrepreneurs as adults.


© 2011 Leann Mischel and Cindy Iannarelli. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.