Read Situation 3 on p. 143 of your text and answer the questions at the end of the case.
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The people having a background of family business have an inevitable career option. This is because the family business depends on them for the future investment, planning, and the continued survival. A career decision is significant to the children of the owners of the business, and this decision is vastly impacted by their background and involvement in the family business. The prior exposure to the family business serves as a considerable intergenerational influence on the entrepreneurial intents of these children. Thus, the involvement in the family business while growing up influences and alters the career decisions of the children of the owners of the business.
“Individuals involved in a family business have interests and perspectives that differ according to their particular situations” (Longenecker et al., 2016). Conversely, the business mainly advocates for the meeting of the interest of the family and not the personal interests of these children. The entrepreneurial family does not provide an opportunity for their children to figure out their careers naturally. Instead, they are expected to think regarding the family business as a career. The talents, the temperaments and the aptitude of these children matter very little. Therefore, these children have to balance between exploring their personal goals, career interests and the interests of the family (Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 2003). Consequently, the children might make their career decisions in consideration of the long-term benefits of the business of the family leaving their career interests. Growing up in the family firm would result in more involvement in the business which would make these children compromise their career paths.
Early involvement in the family business affects and alters the careers of the children of the owners. Their career choices are affected whether they eventually entered the business or did not. Their career choices are affected because they often put their career interests aside and satisfy the interests and needs of the family. Hence, family business plays a more significant part in making it complex for the next generation members of the family in business to make sound decisions concerning their career paths. Basically, at the moment they get involved in the family business they do not have an apparent sense of their objectives, abilities and career interests.
Also, they can be having clear goals, but they have the socioemotional commitments. The socioemotional commitment occurs in five dimensions. These are FIBER which stands for “family control, identification with the firm, binding social ties, emotional attachment, and renewal of family bonds through dynastic succession” (Longenecker et al., 2016). Additionally, the biggest issue which makes most of the youngsters to not pave their career paths in adulthood would be the desire to retain the management of the business in the family and the fear of lack of innovation on the part of the non-family successors. However, it is prudent that the next generation in the family business should discover first their career interests before becoming too involved in the family business.
Starting up a business with a member of the family would require deciding on the organizational culture fit for the company at the present and future time. Appropriate organization culture is significant in ascertaining that a stronger, more effective and competent employees and leadership is continuously present in the organization (Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 2003). Thus, it is essential to set up a process to ensure that the appropriate organizational culture is perpetuated throughout the organization and in the future.
I would think of how we as a family would be impacting each other in the course of business. Therefore, I would plan for a retreat to build healthy relations between family and the business and give room for connections. This informal atmosphere would be helpful as we would converse freely on matters business. The purpose of this meeting should be clear and attainable goals should be put in place. I would also adhere to the agenda of the meeting, give the partner the opportunity to participate and ensure consensus is reached on every issue.
Next, I would develop the constitution for the family business which is a framework for the system of governance in the family business (Longenecker et al., 2016). This creed will include the core values to be followed by the family members in the company and the desired decision-making process. The family constitution will be the guide to a crisis or a change situation. This document will ensure that the objectives of the founders of the company remain preserved which is helpful in ensuring that the business can survive changes in every aspect of their operations. It is significant in instances such as the succession of the business from one generation of owners to another as it ensures a smooth transition. It would help in avoiding ownership wrangles, compensation and performance issues in the business (Chrisman, Chua, & Sharma, 2003). Also, the constitution will contain benefits from the business, a mechanism for introduction of the next generation into business, a procedure for resolution of disputes among family members and the objectives of the business for the family.
Subsequently, I would create a council for the family which would facilitate talks on future values, directions and policies. This council strategizes, organizes and plans for the company’s and every member’s future in the company and their relations to one another. This ensures that the family and the business will operate in harmony in regards to governance of the business.
Longenecker, J.G. Petty, J.W. Palich, L.E. and Hoy, F. (2016). Small Business Management: Launching and Growing Entrepreneurial Ventures. Boston: Cengage publication
Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Sharma, P. (2003). Current trends and future directions in family business management studies: Toward a theory of the family firm. Coleman white paper series, 4(1), 1-63.