A Collective Explanatory Case Study of Founder-syndrome in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

A Collective Explanatory Case Study of Founder-syndrome in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Author: 
John K. Insaidoo
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
More than 70% of small and medium-sized enterprises fail the survival of succession from founder to the next generation of business ownership. Inadequate attention to management policies and strategies have been known to be responsible for the success and failure of the business. There is little knowledge on the aspect of the phenomenon of Founder-syndrome, a leadership control behavior adversely affecting the organization. Founder-syndrome reflects the authoritative, disproportionate influence and control a founder imposes on managing the organization. The general business problem of the study is that founders are often skillful in creating businesses but are not, however, aware of the time to step aside after successful stewardship and hand over control of the leadership to a suitable incumbent. The purpose of this collective explanatory case study was to explore how founders of SMEs in a county in Maryland managed their exit from the organization after successful stewardship. Data from 11 business founders was analyzed to address the research questions of the study. The following 11 themes originated from the review of literature on SMEs: (a) founder’s activity through adversities, (b) aspirations to become a business owner, (c) education influencing business leadership, (d) circumstances leading to founding of the business, (e) employing legitimate power to fulfill business goals, (f) founder’s management expertise, (g) preparation of succession planning, (h) culture of the organization, (i) founder’s desire to be involved in the organization after retirement, (j) founder's willingness to share vision with organizational members, and (j) factors contributing to founder’s success.
Dedication: 
I would like to dedicate this study to Almighty God, my savior and lifter up of my head; my dear and lovely wife, Melissa; my dear son, John-Isaiah; my brother, Kingsley; my mother, Florence; my deceased father, John; and all my family and friends who supported me and inspired me every step through my doctoral journey. Without their patience, encourage, and prayers, this theoretical achievement would not be possible. Furthermore, I dedicate this study to both the young and old individuals who have considered me as a role model in their lives to know that with God all things are possible.
Acknowledgements: 
I would first like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave me the strength to persevere through my doctoral journey. I would like to give special acknowledgement to my Chair, Dr. David Filer, who supported me as his student. His leadership was impeccable and an encouragement to keep my focus on the prize of a successful completion of a doctoral degree. I would also like to thank Dr. Lionel de Souza, my former chair, for his unwavering patience when he accepted my phone calls at whatever time of the day to point me toward the right knowledge needed to be a successful doctoral graduate. I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. Alex Lazo and Dr. Joseph Oloyede for their advice and feedback. The support of the entire committee made my research work possible. Furthermore, I would like to thank Dr. Kenneth Sherman who helped me to finalize my research topic. I would like to thank Dr. David Kenneth Waldman who gave me insight and help me with information on my research topic. I thank my editors, Dr. Julie Fann and Dr. Sean Mournighan, for their expert knowledge in APA formatting, grammar, and style. I would finally like to acknowledge my dear wife, Melissa A. Insaidoo and my brother, Kingsley Fiifi Insaidoo for their moral financial support that helped me to overcome challenges that I encounter during my doctoral studies. God bless you all!