Advertise

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

By Alana Petraske

Philanthropy may keep family members engaged in the family business (including those not otherwise working in it) and can promote family values. Even so, the unique circumstances of business families can raise some challenges for effective giving.

Many family firms incorporate philanthropy into their business model in order to align the family’s core values and the business strategy. The family’s personal drive to “give something back” may be at the heart of family business giving — and the business giving may sit alongside a parallel family foundation that reflects family members’ personal giving priorities. Other families may be swayed by employees’ and customers’ deeper connection to a firm that is actively engaged in improving local conditions, supporting projects aligned with the core activities of the business, or simply “doing good.” And as businesses of all sizes and across sectors become increasingly aware of market perception and branding, being regarded as a “good corporate citizen” may have strategic value.

...Read more

Special Report

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.