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Family Business Magazine Blog

A recent article in The Practitioner -- an online publication of the Family Firm Institute, an organization for professionals who advise and study family enterprises -- pointed out the difference between "firm survival over time" (continuity of a family business through the years) and "longevity of a family enterprise" (a family's ability to create wealth and value over generations).

The Practitioner article -- by Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration and a visiting scholar at Babson College -- argued that family enterprise success can be defined in ways other than leadership transfer from one generation to the next. "Both the creative destruction of firms and pruning of the enterprising family are integral parts of longevity of an enterprising family ....," Sharma wrote. "Recent reviews of the research on succession, governance, professionalization and performance all point in the same direction -- that one size does not fit all and the overarching numbers of ‘success' are insufficient to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of family enterprises and their pathways to success."

Family Business Magazine's cover subjects for May/June 2014, the Power family, sold J.D. Power and Associates to McGraw-Hill in 2005....Read more

Free Feature Article

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, begun with one auto dealership, is now a multibillion-dollar enterprise that includes the NBA’s Utah Jazz, thanks to good governance.

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies was founded with a single Toyota dealership Larry and his wife, Gail, bought in 1979. Today, the group consists of 80 companies with about 10,000 employees, generating revenues of more than $5 billion.

The family enterprise encompasses a fleet of dealerships, a car financing firm, movieplexes and a number of sports businesses, including an NBA team and the arena in which it plays.

Larry Miller, who had started his career selling cars for other dealerships, grew his company, as all successful businesspeople do, through hard work and dedication. He spent long hours in the office while Gail took care of their children: four boys — Greg, Roger, Steve and Bryan — and a girl, Karen. When Larry would come home at night, Gail would sit on the bathroom floor while he took a bath. He would download his day to her, often asking for her opinion or approval.

“I not only was collecting knowledge,” says Gail, 75. “I was a sounding board for him. He relied on me for common sense and my thoughts on the character of people.”

When the children started to lament the absence of their father, Gail made it...Read more

Feature Video

Taking Stock explores all the questions, relationships and emotions universal among family businesses, as well as themes — guilt, survival and apartheid — unique to a prosperous Jewish merchant family in South Africa.

Read our Q&A with family member/filmmaker, Ben Stillerman.

Watch the trailer for Taking Stock.