Bivalent Attributes of the Family Firm

Bivalent Attributes of the Family Firm

10 Pages · 2014 · 2.2 MB · English

Abhough fanifu r,rnen and nanaged fmn! are tle predoninant fi,m of buiinest organizatinn in tbe warld adaJ, little syttcnati resetlrch etitt on tbe'e c1n'qanie'. Thi pdper builk apon ksigbts foand in the e,herging lit era*re on these entetyris td up|n our own absematkns to ?ra?ide a ca - ce?tual fr

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CLASSICS Bivalent Attributes of the Family Firm Renato Tbgiuri, Jobn Daztis Abhough fanifu r,rnen and nanaged fmn! are tle predoninant fi,m of buiinest organizatinn in tbe warld adaJ, little syttcnati resetlrch etitt on tbe'e c1n'qanie' Thi pdper builk apon ksigbts foand in the e,herging lit era*re on these entetyris td up|n our own absematkns to ?ra?ide a ca ce?tual frameaark ta bettxr urulerstand thue compfu arganiztltiot\ We intr,dwe the cance?t |fthe Bbelent AttributEsa niqa€, inberentfeature af an arganization that it tbe naru afboth adztantages aixd Aitadoantaget t0 exllain the dJnatuts ofthe fan'i fmL Introduction Most turns in the United States are family businessesorganizations where two or more ertended familv members influeoce the direction ofthe business drough the exercise of kinship ties, management roles, or osnership rights While most family companies rre small, some are relatir,ely lrge and sereral are giants in their respective industries Tiken together, rhey contribute about 40 percent ofthe gross national product and over half of ou national employ ment (Beckhard aJId Dyer, 1983) It is vitr , given t}le prevalence and impor tance of firmilyconEolled organizations in our society, tlat we understand the charactedstic behevior of tle fanily rnembers who influence these firms Most writings on these organizations appear in the business end trade press, and generally focus either on a prrticular farnily or on a specific issue, such as the sont enuy into tlle company or the rivrlry between relatives who work together (Altnran, 197l; Buti els Week, 1966, 196?: Loing,197 5; Mar tin, 1975) As it stands today, the family business has not been extensively re searched or described Some s'stemaoc study has been done, however, on the social structure ;rad the particular strengths and weaknesses of family conpa nies (Barry, 1975j Drvis, P and Stern, 1980;Miller and tuce, 1973), on the psychology ofthe ounermanager pay 1980; Schein, 1983; Zaleznik and Kes de Vries, 1975), on nepotism (Crmbreleng, 1969; Ewing, 1965; Gffey, 1966), and on management succession in these turns (Bsmes end Hershon, 1968; Beckhard and Dyer, 1983; Davis, S, 1968; Hershon, 1975) This paper builds upon insights found in the above writings, md it also 199 240 'ragiari, Da1)i incoryorates obsenations ftom our ongoing study of family firms In this dis cussion we derl only with those frmilycontrolled companies where two or more individuals are simuttaneously members of the owning family owners, and managerc More specifically, this includes any comprny tlat is a) owner ship controlled by one family, b) includes at l*st t'aro family members in its maragernent, and c) also has nonfamily employees For most smaller compa nies, ownership control means hrving at le3st a 6fty percent omership, but for larger companies, it is possible to om less than a majority ofthe shares and elect r board of directon that will support the controlling farnily's goals While the tums discussed here are a subset of all companies which are omershio controlled by one family mosr writjng on familJ buine derl wiLn L]'e ry?e of situation we are describing The grrphic representation ofthis set ofrelationships is displayed in Figure 1 Figure 1 Overlap ofFenily, Ov'nership, and Management Groups Our purpose in this paper is to show that the f:mily compaay hrs several unique, inherent zttibttes, ard emh ofthese ke1 attributu is a :ource of benefts and di:adtnntages for owning families, nonfamily employees, and farn ily employees As a result of their latent negative and positive potential, we call these inherent fertures Bi lent Attibutes \Vhen one conside$ that only 30% of family firms survive to the second generation (Poe, 1980), ard that their average life span is only 24 years (Danco, 1977), the concept of Bivalent At tributes is a reminder that tle success or failure of any family 6rm will depend on how well these inherent features ,re mrnaEed Their successtul manaee /r 'E n Cr \vo Bioalmt Attributes oftlre F tmiu Firm 241 ment will also affect the well being of the frmily and the family's relationship with employees and with the greater communiry We propose a theory here

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