Professor Studies How Family Businesses
Make Business Decisions
The University of Connecticut
by Karen File
A significant amount of research has been done to understand the type of businessdecisions and managerial processes that differentiate family businesses from other enterprises.In-depth studies have shown that family-owned firms have distinctive leadership processes, morenurturing family-like cultures, are more customer oriented, and consider family needs whenmaking business decisions. On this last finding is where a UConn family business researcher hasrecently focused.
Do family members participate in all business decisions or do they get involved in onlycertain kinds? If so, which ones?
Karen File, Associate Professor of Marketing at UConn’s Stamford branch, recentlycompleted a study that was designed to determine which business decisions seemed to triggerfamily involvement and which were processed with little or no family intervention. More…
For Family Businesses
No Easy Answers…Only Options
“Each family business is unique it its makeup, its culture…each has its own vision, goals and Perception success”
“There are no pat, easy answers, no real quick-fix solutions…only options,” Dr. Fredda Herz Brown, a family business consultant, told the members of the Family Business Forum during asession at the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at FDU on March 27th.”Eachfamily,” she noted, “is unique in its makeup, its culture…each has its own vision, goals andperception of success…all of which impact the upcoming generation and the future of the familybusiness.You need to learn to deal with the issues,” she said, adding, “I have found that familiesare among the most creative in resolving issues.”
Communication within the family, Brown noted, is extremely important.”Many familybusinesses go down the drain because one spousedoesn’t talk to another.You have anargument, a problem involving your brother and you discuss it with your wife.You later make upwith your brother; after all,he is your brother, but your wife is still angry and may refuse to go tofamily functions,” she said. As family members, youneed to dealwith your emotions, communicate your feelings, anxieties, frustrations and differences. Familial conflict, whenignored, may have a disastrous effect on the business.Family members have to be able toseparate theirpersonal feelings from those relating to the business, she said. More…