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Family Enterprise + Online Assessment Tool Understanding Families in Business and Families of Wealth

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 11.11.2013
  • Verlag: Wiley
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Family Enterprise + Online Assessment Tool

A thorough explanation of how family enterprises work The family enterprise, whether an operating business, a family office, or both, is the backbone of the US and international economies. These enterprises cut across industries and geographies and can be first-generation entrepreneurial companies or multi-generational businesses with family offices. This book offers a foundation in and understanding of how family enterprises work, including working definitions and the key characteristics of family enterprises, as well as useful concepts for working with and in family enterprises, either as a professional or as a family member. Written by the experts at the Family Firm Institute, a global network of professionals, educators, researchers, and owners of family enterprises An ideal resource for professionals in law, finance, management, and behavioral science, family office and fund managers, and others interested in an multidisciplinary approach to this field


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 185
    Erscheinungsdatum: 11.11.2013
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781118730980
    Verlag: Wiley
    Größe: 1417 kBytes
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Family Enterprise + Online Assessment Tool


Key Characteristics of Family Enterprises

Family firms have a wide and often diverging set of characteristics, but research in the field of family enterprise has demonstrated that, for all their differences, family businesses tend to share a core set of characteristics. Indeed, such characteristics can - and often do - play a major role in determining the success or failure of family enterprises throughout the world.


Resiliency, optimism, and a penchant for long-term strategies have been identified as characteristics of family firms for decades. These are attributes that can assist family firms and the stability of family firms in the short and long run, and will have an effect on the worldwide economic picture over the long haul.

In fact, family businesses have good track records. According to research done in the mid-1980s, approximately 30 percent of all family firms survive to the second generation. More recent research, however, using entrepreneurial models, may result in different and more optimistic statistics relating to the family's longevity in business versus the business's longevity.

Family business does not correlate with "small or underperforming businesses." One-third of the S&P 500 companies are family firms and, according to Business Week and The Journal of Finance , they outperform the nonfamily firms. Some examples of large family enterprises include: Wal-Mart, Cargill, Ford Motor Company, Motorola, Nordstrom, News Corp, and Ferragamo.

Some of the success of family enterprises is attributed to their unique traits. These include:

Optimism: The majority of families who own family enterprises believe that the same family will control the family business in five years.
Loyalty: Blood is thicker than water.
Vigilance: No one watches your money like you do.
Competitiveness: Scanning the market to see what competitors are doing and investing in IT, sales, and marketing. According to the 2007/2008 PricewaterhouseCoopers study, more than 86 percent of family businesses surveyed say that their top investment priority is IT infrastructure.
Innovativeness: Although financially conservative, family businesses have shown the ability to discard the old and create new products and services. The reinvention of family firms is often vital to their survival.
Nimbleness: Families that have lived and worked together for years can move quickly and are flexible in the many roles they play.
Legacy and commitment: Families with names on the door report that their company is much more than just a job. It's their legacy, a commitment to the community and to the employees who work there and their families.

Of course, family enterprises also face unique challenges, including: conflicting goals and agendas in family, owners, and enterprise; several and often conflicting roles held by family members; and boundary management issues among the family, owners, and the enterprise.

Indeed, it must be emphasized that families in business together face many challenges, not the least of which is balancing the different and often conflicting agendas between family and business. Keeping family issues in the family and business issues in the business takes energy and time that are usually not required in nonfamily enterprises.

The relationships among parents and children, siblings, cousins, spouses, in-laws, and the myriad other family connections that are all part of a family enterprise circle make for a challenging and complex working environment. The patterns of family dynamics are far more complex and deep-seated than patterns in a nonfamily business context; family behavior patterns develop and grow throughout a lifetime.

These patterns cause family enterprises to make

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