Dr. Peter Jaskiewicz


Full name

Dr. Peter Jaskiewicz


Understanding the costs and benefits for family owned businesses of using external managers as opposed to being managed by family members

Type of researcher

Principal Investigator

Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials

Peter Jaskiewicz conducts quantitative and qualitative research on entrepreneurship and family business. His current research focuses on antecedents of transgenerational entrepreneurship and corporate reputation in family and founder firms. Moreover, Peter researches organizational outcomes of entrepreneurial legacies, managerial pay dispersion, and family dynamics in these firms.

Peter’s research has been published in journals such as Journal of Management StudiesJournal of ManagementJournal of Business VenturingAcademy of Management Learning & EducationEntrepreneurship Theory and PracticeFamily Business ReviewJournal of Small Business Management, and Journal of Business Research.

In his teaching, Peter shares up-to-date knowledge on entrepreneurship, family business and corporate governance with Bachelor, Master, and PhD students. Peter also organized an annual MBA Summer School on “Leadership in Europe” (2006-2008) and led an annual Study Tour on “Governance, Entrepreneurship and Family Business” (2009-2013) in Europe.

Beyond research and teaching, Peter has successfully helped to fundraise more than $950,000 as the principal investigator or as a co-investigator of research proposals and grants.

He is currently a review board member at Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Corporate Governance: An International Review, and Family Business Review. In addition to these academic positions, Peter is an Advisory Board member at Venture for Canada (http://www.ventureforcanada.ca).

Describe your research

I’m interested in family business because I come from a business family. A family member of mine very successfully started several music stores and added a chain of music schools on top of that. However, when he passed away his businesses were liquidated very rapidly and all family non-family members across several countries lost their jobs. This tragic incident very much fostered my interest in family business research.

Family businesses are very relevant in general. Seventy-five percent of all firms in the world are family businesses and they contribute more than 50 percent to both GDP and employment. From the small mom-and-pop store around the corner to large corporations such as VW, Walmart, IKEA or Bombardier, you’re surrounded by family firms.

Despite their prevalence only 30 percent of family firms survive to the second and only about twelve percent survive to the third generation this warrants a question, why?
In this study, we decided to analyze the effect of the desire to pass on the business to the next generation on family firm performance. So is it good or bad to desire to pass on the business to the next generation? Well there are two perspectives on that question.

The first one is that it’s a very good thing because it implies that the current owners adopt a long term perspective with the desire to make good investments over time so that the business is in good shape when they desire to pass it on to the kids in 20 or 25 years.

However, there’s also the counter perspective, and it says that it’s a bad thing to desire to pass on the business to family members because you are always biased towards your family. Aren’t your kids the smartest, best looking and most promising of course that’s part of our evolution.

We are deeply emotionally attached to our children and desire to create as many opportunities as possible for them. So applied to the family firm context what does that mean. Well it means that if you hire your children as managers do you do so because they’re the most competent and the best able to run the company; or do you hire them because you simply want to pass on the business to them.

Well our research shows that if you have a strong desire to pass on the business to your children and you have a lot of family managers that hurts the performance. However, the same desire to pass on the business to the next generation coupled with a managerial team consisting of many non-family managers is actually good for the performance.

Explain its significance

So our advice for family business owners: the desire to pass on the business to the next generation is not a bad thing as long as it comes with a team of non-family managers if you do so you will have a better chance of successfully growing and keeping a multi-generational family firm.


Institution name

University of Ottawa

Type of institution



Management of companies and enterprises

Management of companies and enterprises