Document Type



Doctor of Business Administration


Business Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Steve Moehrle


Tom Eyssell

Jennifer Moehrle


This study investigated succession planning intentions of investment advisors who lead their small businesses. We employed the theory of planned behavior to better understand the attitudes, norms and perceptions of control that impact these business leaders’ intentions to plan. Our research included a pilot study of interviews with 10 investment advisors and a main study of advisor survey responses. With a sample size of 198 participants, we analyzed survey responses measuring traditional TPB constructs as well as involvement in outside activities. Using two-step structural equation modeling, our model fit was acceptable, and our results supported our hypotheses that beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of control impact intentions to plan for succession. Our hypotheses related to subjective norms, motivation to comply to norms, and involvement in outside activities were not supported. Based on our results, industry leaders and those hoping to convince more advisors to plan for succession should focus on the unique benefits of succession planning and provide practitioners with hands-on tools to nudge them toward implementation. Peer pressure and testimonials appear not to affect the intentions of these business leaders.