Sandrine Berger-Douce publie un chapitre d’ouvrage co-écrit avec Lyès Mazari et Bérangère Deschamps intitulé : « Legitimacy of the external successor : Issues and means of acquisition » (Chapter 11, p.165-178) dans l’ouvrage collectif intitulé « Business Transfers, Family Firms and Entrepreneurship » coordonné par Dominique Barbelivien, Bérangère Deschamps, Audrey Missonier, Paulette Robic et Catherine Thévenard Puthod, publié en novembre 2020 aux Editions Routledge, London.
Abstract : As recognised in the literature, the ‘human’ factor is important in the successful transfer of business operations, especially when an external successor takes over a firm (Boussaguet, 2012 ; Mazari, Berger-Douce et Deschamps, 2019a). In such cases, the leadership and ownership of the company is transferred from the predecessor to an external person. To effectively perform their new role and make changes in what is, in fact, a new entity (Deschamps, 2003), the external buyer must establish themselves as a new leader by gaining legitimacy in the eyes of employees. Legitimacy ensures the right managerial conditions in which a new leader can effectively perform their role; in particular, it enables them to be recognised as the leader and gives them the support of employees for their vision (Mazari, Berger-Douce and Deschamps, 2019a). In turn, Boussaguet and Bah (2008) stress that external successors’ perceived lack of legitimacy is one reason for higher failure rates in external business transfers as compared with family successions.
This chapter seeks to shed light on the psychological mechanisms underlining employees’ attribution of legitimacy to an external buyer. To do this, we will first define the concept of legitimacy and outline its impact on the external takeover of a firm. We will then focus on the different dimensions of an external successor’s legitimacy and the ways in which it can be acquired. Finally, we will identify and describe the personal and professional qualities that contribute to an external buyer’s legitimacy.
Key-words : Business transfers ; External successor ; Leadership ; Legitimacy.