This book focuses on a central success factor for family businesses: maintaining the decision-making ability over generations while not jeopardizing the business due to family conflict, inefficient governance structures, or lack of identification. The authors identify that this is not as easy as the endeavor to bring two social systems together with contradicting logic (family and business) leads to many dangerous pitfalls.
This book presents outcomes of a unique research project in which family managers of eleven of the oldest and largest German family businesses, at least the fourth generation, met for more than three years on a regular basis and presented the essence of their family governance structures to each other and to the authors. It was a joint "learning journey" that admits identifying twelve core questions that these families had been answering to keep up the relationship between family and business successfully over generations. Obviously, there is no "right" answer to these questions. The key to success is rather engaging the families in a process to find out their own answers and make them aware of the "two sides": being a family is different from being a business family.Autorentext
Arist von Schlippe is a Professor and heads the Endowment Chair of Leadership and Dynamics in Family Businesses, 'Witten Institute for Family Business' (WIFU) at the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. He is one of the leading family psychologists in Germany, and his research spans across the fields of family governance, succession; the role of stories and value transmission in business families; transgenerational entrepreneurship, negotiation and conflict resolution; parental coaching in non-violent resistance.
Torsten Groth is a Senior research fellow at the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU) at the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. He is specialized in leadership and organization and serves as one of the leading systemic coaches for family businesses and organizations.
Tom A. Rüsen is a Professor and the Managing Director of the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU), and an Honorary Professor at the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. He is one of the leading speakers on family business topics in Germany and serves as a consultant to business families. His research focuses on conflict and crisis management in family businesses, mental models, and family strategy development in business families, family governance and professional ownership development.
Part I Introduction.- Family strategy over generations.- Part II Managed by neglect: solutions that create problems.- Riding a ghost train: What happens if 'nothing' happens?.- Part III The Witten theory of the business family.- Family and business - the impossible endeavour.- Family and business family at the same time: the duplicated family.- Part IV Core issues of family strategy.- Appointment decisions: a sense of belonging and drawing limits.- Legitimation: decide without deciding!.- Being aware of mental models.- What's the point of it all? Cross-generational meaningful purpose.- Part V Developing a family strategy.- Re-inventing the wheel! The Witten model of family strategy development.