Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyze the family business succession process using Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and conceptualisation of a knowledge-creating place, Ba to enhance one's understanding of critical managerial challenges in family business succession. Design/methodology/approach - Based on literature review, Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation and knowledge-creating space is applied to the family business succession process. Findings - Through literature review and synthesis there of the paper concludes that Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation is a highly valid framework for analyzing and supporting the family business succession process. The paper proposes that Ba is a perception of a place - the family firm - and a shared purpose among family members in that firm. It is posited that the absence of Ba can be a significant barrier to a family firm adopting a successful succession process. Creating a Ba is essential for family firms to survive. Research limitations/implications - Only propositions are presented, but they serve as valid research questions for future research. Originality/value - Previous research of knowledge management processes and applications in family business context is scarce. Moreover, research on succession in family firms has not been considered as a knowledge creating and sharing process. This paper applies a valid and widely used model to the context of family firms and adopts the view that a succession process in essence is a knowledge creating and sharing process.