Understanding Family Firms: Case Studies on the Management of Crises, Uncertainty and Change

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Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 15, 2011 - Business & Economics - 102 pages
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Family-owned and managed firms are often beset by a variety of crises that can impact the firm’s very survival. These may include changes in technology, deaths of critical family members, competition within an industrial sector, shifts in market dynamics and product mixes, economic turmoil, political upheaval and revolution, firm growth, succession, and selecting new firm leadership. Such crises may be internal to the firm or a function of the external environment, and several may occur simultaneously; all of them contribute to a context of uncertainty, risk, and change, presenting particular challenges that are unique to family-owned businesses.

This volume presents eight in-depth case studies of family-owned firms that represent a variety of industries and situations. Each case explores the dynamics of managing in chaotic environments and how family leadership responded to crises. Lessons learned from these experiences will help readers understand how to solve problems under conditions of uncertainty and how to avoid failure, when the survival of the firm is at stake. Featuring questions and learning notes designed to engage the reader directly, this volume will be a valuable resources for students and members of entrepreneurial and family-owned firms, as well as consultants, investors, and other professional advisors.


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Reading a Family Business Case
Case One Todays Paint and Body Different Views of Finding a New President
Case Two N eptune E nterprises Dealing with Loss Turmoil and Technology Change
Case Three Michael Window Shutter Company Disputes in Running the Family Firm
Case Four Barton Springs When Family Members Leave the Business
Case Five Ocean Safari A Choice of Staying in Business
Case Six Siam Chemical A Fathers Dilemma
Case Seven Marina Cove Ltd and the Guthrie Family
Case Eight Lennar Homes Surviving Death and Recession
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About the author (2011)

ALAN L. CARSRUD is Executive Director, Global Enterpreneurship Center, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Clinical Professor of Management at Florida International University. Previously, he served on the faculty at the Anderson School, UCLA, and directed the graduate programs in entrepreneurship at the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Southern California. He has taught at Pepperdine University, Nangang Technological University in Singapore, Anahuac University in Mexico City, and the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney. He was on the start-up team at People Express Airlines and Founding Director of CytoSignal, a biotech firm, and has served as Vice-President for the International Council for Small Business, on the Board of Directors of the Family Firm Institute, and as Founding Associate Editor of the journal, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development.

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