A Black Swan in Malaysian Chinese Family Business Succession: A Case Study

  • Jesrina Ann Xavier Faculty of Business and Law, Taylor’s University, Malaysia
  • Khai-Siong Gan School of Economics, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Keywords: Succession, Black Swan, Family Business, Case Study, Malaysia


This article explores the impact of the highly improbable in a transgenerational succession of a Malaysian Chinese family business. Through an exploratory case study of succession in a Malaysian Chinese family business, a Black Swan in succession was identified, arising from unexpected changes in the business. Findings show that the predecessor did not expect his children; the successors, to take over the family business, as the successors were being groomed to pursue professional careers. Through an unexpected twist of events, the successors were able to take over and manage the family business, causing an impact to the future of this family business. This article demonstrates that the Black Swan theory may be applicable in the process of succession, causing a significant impact in a small Malaysian Chinese family business. This article is based on one case study. Hence, it should be noted that a case study should be judged based on transferability, not generalizability. This case study shows that a successful unexpected succession without any long-term preparation before a transition is possible. Education plays an important role in strengthening one’s entrepreneurial skills. This then facilitates a cross-generational innovation in a family business, successfully generating a notable impact to the growth of this family business.


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How to Cite
Jesrina Ann Xavier, & Khai-Siong Gan. (2022). A Black Swan in Malaysian Chinese Family Business Succession: A Case Study. International Journal of Business and Society, 23(1), 461-475. https://doi.org/10.33736/ijbs.4625.2022