Family Business and Conflicts
What is a Family Business?
Families involve emotion with includes relationships that carry with it loyalties and natural love whereas a business system is unemotional and coldly designed to extract the highest profit from that venture.
Styles that are necessary in a family situation may not always suit the business situation. Membership of a family is by birth whereas membership of a business should be by investment and performance.
Families deal with family matters in a certain way that entails the head of the family making decisions either alone or in consultation with another senior member of the family. The business however, has its own systems and methods of communication as well as styles involving the resolution of conflicts and finalizing decisions.
Conflict between Business System and Family System
Most families regard the concerns as being paramount in all cases but a prudent business owner will ensure that family concerns and business concerns are properly balanced so as to achieve the maximum satisfaction for both systems and people involved. Too often the emotional bonds of family tend to short cut processes which have been designed to ensure the security of the business and to maximize its success.
For example, family members are put into positions of power where they do not have experience or knowledge simply because they are family members. If they came through the normal interview and selection process they would not get that position. This is clearly a case where family considerations breach the normal standards of how businesses should be run in order to achieve maximum profitability.
Specific Issues in the Family Business
Some of the issues that most businesses have to face include the following:
All the issues above have to be assessed in a family business situation because the potential for business conflict and family stress can be very high. The way to diffuse conflict and eliminate stress involves identifying the issues causing the conflicts and stress and then discussing these issues with all the family members involved.
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