Family business is an ideological arena of three cultural forces – entrepreneurialism, managerialism, and paternalism, all of which influence the succession implementation. This study analyses paternalism, managerialism and entrepreneurialism as ideological tensions in family business succession from viewpoint of non-family employees’ experiences. Nonfamily employees offer resources for succession, but simultaneously different ideologies offer threats in the form of founder centrality and delayed succession. Six small family firms were chosen for the qualitative case studies to understand non-family employees’ perceptions. The results show that the change of ideological tensions that come with the change of generation is related to the commitment and well-being of non-family employees.