Married and Making a Living: Couples who Own Small Franchise Businesses
Our economy is characterized by a changing labor market in which large companies are forced by competition to downsize by laying off employees whose skills are specialized and where alternatives are either less attractive or nonexistent. Small family businesses, which have increased in numbers during the last decade, are one means to address such an employment problem. Changing careers as a result of corporate downsizing is a traumatic experience, but sharing time and responsibilities with a spouse in a family-owned business without preparation multiplies that stress.This book describes the organization of roles and work tasks typical in a group of married couples who own and manage small franchise businesses. These work relationships demonstrate high levels of togetherness and adaptability, but family research has shown that these characteristics are often problematic in marital relationships. Notable problems for these couples include covert and overt conflict as well as a fusion of work roles: Too much flexibility leads to unclear and inconsistent work assignments, and impulsive decision-making. The book outlines several techniques for educating and coaching business spouses.
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