Explaining Multi-generation Family Business Success in the Gulf States

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Harvard University, 2008 - 506 pages
This dissertation examines the success and survival of third-generation family firms in the Gulf States. A framework derived from a comprehensive review of the family business literature identified eleven factors necessary to the long-term survival of family firms. This framework was expanded to include five factors drawn from an analysis of the Gulf business history as it evolved from the late nineteenth century and as it responded to the oil economy from the mid-twentieth century forward. To explore this topic thoroughly, this research developed four case studies, through personal interviews, public and private records, and archival materials. Three of the family firms, Jaidah, Zamil, and Sultan (W.J. Towell), survived to the third generation while one firm, Darwish, was divided among its three sibling founders. The framework was applied to each of the four cases to ascertain the extent to which factors affected the continuity of the firms studied.

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