From generation to generation: Changing dimensions of intergenerational farm transfer
Reason for embargo
The transfer of managerial control between generations on the family farm has long been understood as a critical and often problematic phase, with implications for both the individual farm business and more broadly, the sustainability of family farming systems. Drawing on empirical data from interviews with prospective successors and farmers in Devon, England, the article provides a contemporary analysis of the transfer of managerial control on family farms. Although in line with traditional conceptualisations, findings reaffirm how many prospective successors were delegated tasks of increasing responsibility, with limited access to the higher responsibility financial management tasks, an emergent cohort of younger prospective successors enjoyed a contrasting progression towards managerial control, involving varied involvement across all aspects of farm management. With reference to late modernity and the individualisation thesis, the article explores how unconstrained by tradition the emerging cohort described a wealth of off-farm experiences, including what the article terms short-term diversions, which the analysis reveals have informed and shaped their progression towards managerial control. In view of these findings, the article offers an alternative and up-to-date conceptualisation of the transfer of managerial control in the form of the succession matrix, before considering the potential applications and some avenues for future research.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.