Understanding the Family Business – Complex But Valuable

Family businesses are inherently complex: in addition to dealing with business issues, they must also deal with ownership and family issues. This complexity confers tremendous strength – families have values and look towards future generations and sustainability; ownership is independent and long-term, and the company can adopt unconventional business models. Because of this, family businesses can and often outperform publicly-held corporations. However, conflicts stemming from the three dimensions can make this complexity an inherent weakness: each dimension may move in a different direction, causing tensions to rise between family members and even the business to fall apart.

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