Conflict Resolution for Family Businesses

Conflict Resolution for Family BusinessesNortheastern University

Family Business Quarterly
by Philip R. Rosenblatt, Esq.
and Leonard H. Freiman, Esq

Dad had built the business from scratch into a major U.S. producer and worldwide distributor of specialty textile products. His dream had come true 15 years ago when both his sons entered the business. At his death, he was satisfied knowing that Cain had a firm grasp of operational manufacturing issues in the factories and that Abel was responsible for the explosion of the company’s worldwide distribution.

After worrying a great deal about who would inherit the business, Dad thought he had found the perfect solution: the two, with their compatible niches, would each inherit 50% of the company’s stock. Now, following Dad’s death, it seemed clear that the glue that had held the business together had been respect for or fear of him. Forty years of animosities, jealousies and hard feelings between the brothers had fueled business disputes that were threatening to destroy the company that had always been the repository of the family’s wealth and much of its history. More…

Unique Benefits and Some Tricky Challenges

Unique Benefits and Some Tricky Challenges

By Linda Swerling

Principal of Level II Solutions


Women are not only starting their own companies at record pace, they are also becoming increasingly involved at the senior management level in their own family company. While the individual dynamics of each situation is unique based on the people and industry involved, women who hold leadership roles can increase their effectiveness and protect their relationships by understanding why and how family businesses are different. The first, most important and permanent element is that key people are related to one another. Unless family members understand and are committed to preserving these relationships, the business can destroy them. Yet the business also has to function profitably. Women often use their experience in juggling activities, negotiating peaceful settlements among siblings and acknowledging different needs to help resolve conflict. More…