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Family Business

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published: 26 Feb 2009

  • Topic: Family Business

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Abstract:
The case describes the challenges of a CEO making the transition from an advisory board to a formal board of directors. Strengthening governance is an important structure to support the transition of family businesses across generations.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case explores how to strengthen a board of directors. It asks students to consider board composition, qualification, compensation and size. It also focuses on the functions of the board and CEO in managing the company, helping to clarify director and executive roles

Keywords:
Family Business, Family Business Governance, Board Members, Family Board Members, Family Governance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 26 Feb 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Originally from Thailand, Zhi considered himself to be in voluntary exile in London. Years before, he had turned his back on tradition, on his family’s business empire, and on his family, and fled to the West. His father, Liu Hong, had been his mentor but also, in Zhi’s eyes, his tormentor. He had had no option but to free himself from his father’s influence and from the family business. And then, out of the blue, Hong telephoned Zhi in London. He began by reminding his son that after several years of declining profits, Plantation Sugar Trading, the family company founded by Zhi’s great grandfather, was struggling. As Hong had no other sons, responsibility for the family enterprise fell on Zhi. He would have to return to Thailand or Hong would sell the company as quickly as possible. What should Zhi do?

Pedagogical Objectives:
Teaching objective: This case allows us to understand the need for communication in the family business and the need to establish a structure that encourages family participation. It also deals with the next generation's challenges and recognition as well as the character and the leadership style of the owning generation.

Keywords:
Asian Family Business, Chinese Family Business, Chinese Entrepreneurship, Family Conflicts, Family Business Strategy, Next Generation Leaders, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 26 Feb 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
A family business is turned upside down by the decision of its owner-manager to 'walk away' . This simulation is based on an interview with a 49-year-old man who abruptly sold the family business without warning either his employees or his family. He told his wife what he'd done and put his mother in a retirement home. He informed his two children and nephew, who worked in the business, that they could stay with the new owners but would have to make it on their own. This interview was completed shortly before Steve was to close the sale but before the long-term consequences of his actions are fully known.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case explores family business role transitions and the competing commitments of family and business systems. It demonstartes the importance of Fair Process and effective communication in a family business, and the need to establish a structure that encourages family participation in planning and decision-making. It also deals with next generation careers and issues of unplanned succession.

Keywords:
Family Business Roles, Competing Commitments, Family Business Transitions, Fair Process, Communication in Family Business, Next Generation Careers, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 31 Jan 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Harry McNeely Sr started a storage and transport company with his brother-in-law in 1916. Whereas his sons, Don & Harry Jr, were taken into the company, Harry Sr made provision for his two daughters to be financially independent but gave them no stake in the family business. After his death, the daughters contested the will and were made minority shareholders, but not before the family had endured the largest court ordered business liquidation in Minnesota's history. Things settled down for a while but then another problem emerged: the succession had not been settled. Although Paddy, Harry Jr.'s son, was keen to run the company, his ageing father was reluctant to hand over the reins. In parallel, participation in the family's charitable foundation successfully united all the cousins of the third generation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case deals with the next generation problems and recognition within the family business. It also examines the importance of communication in a family business and the need to establish a structure that encourages family participation.

Keywords:
Family Business, Governance, Ownership, Next Generation, Family System, Family Relationship, Foundation, Role of the Board, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2009 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Family Business Category

published: 01 Dec 2008

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Hearing devices
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the way in which members of a family owning a business try to put together a family meeting to discuss the future of the enterprise. The case allows a discussion of the question of rules for family members working in the business, ownership distribution, family meetings, reconciling individual interests… all the elements of what family business scholars and practitionners term "family governance".

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective of the case is to allow participants to grasp the issues at stake for members of a third generation family business, using "hands on" communication tools (similar to those suggested to participants for use in their own family meetings).

Keywords:
Family Business, Family Business Governance, Family Meetings, Family Constitutions, Family Business Communication, Family Govertance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms

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published: 21 Mar 2008

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Andrew Whiteside and his five siblings, owners of a family business, have staged a semi-annual family meeting to review business results with all blood relatives over 21. With the next meeting coming up, many different perspectives and emotions are starting to appear within the senior and next generation. While some people feel these meetings are very effective, others are concerned that the existing family forum may be creating more problems than solutions because difficult issues, like board seats or family compensation, are not discussed. What can be done to improve communication?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case allows us to understand the purpose of a family meetings, and the need to establish a structure that encourages family participation in planning, problem solving and decision making. It also deals with next generation problems and recognition as well as rules to develop the meeting into a formal council.

Keywords:
Family Meeting, Next Generation, Family Meeting Members, Family Council, Communication in Family Business, Family Business, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 18 Feb 2008

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Hearing devices
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the way in which members of a family owning a business try to put together a family meeting to discuss the future of the enterprise. The case allows a discussion of the question of rules for family members working in the business, ownership distribution, family meetings, reconciling individual interests… all the elements of what family business scholars and practitionners term "family governance".

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective of the case is to allow participants to grasp the issues at stake for members of a third generation family business, using "hands on" communication tools (similar to those suggested to participants for use in their own family meetings).

Keywords:
Family Business, Family Business Governance, Family Meetings, Family Constitutions, Family Business Communication, Family Govertance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

Related:

published: 29 Nov 2007

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Finance Services
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
A family office provides professionally managed support in planning, investment and professional advice, reporting and specialized services related to managing the family’s wealth. This case study explores the challenges of a next generation family member in attempting to convince his traditional Chinese father of the advantages and opportunities to be created by establishing a family office to support the family's financial and investment activities.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Business families and wealthy families need to appreciate the investment opportunities created by the creation of a family office. This case provides an overview of the issues and opportunities created by a family office. Students will explore the implementation process and develop an understanding of professional practices that support the effective development of a family office strategy.

Keywords:
Family Wealth, Family Office, Investment Management, Family Investments, Family Business, Estate and Ownership Planning, Financial Performance, Wicfe, Family Office, Wealth Management, Legacy, Ownership

published: 30 Sep 2006

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Heavy industry
  • Region: North America
published: 03 Jan 2006

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case and teaching note explore one of Singapore's early entrepreneurs and the family business empire he created. Eu Tong Sen started from humble beginnings as tin miner, and over the next 50 years built a family firm that included mining, rubber plantations, real estate and banking. One of his early ventures in traditional Chinese medicine is the only operating company the family still controls. The second generation of the Eu family was racked by conflict and legal battles as the 24 children of the founder and his five wives have fought for control of the family dynasty. The case explores how Richard Eu, a grandson of the founder, united his cousins in an alliance to stop their father's feuds and regenerate the traditional Chinese medicine business into one of the few companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange that actually improved its performance and stock price during the recent SARS epidemic.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case explores the impact of family relationships (the founding entrepreneur had five wives resulting in 24 children and 72 grandchildren), changes in the business environment, the need for improved structures and systems as the family matures and the power of regenerating a business around a family's values. The case and teaching note will examine the problems confronting traditional family business and how the next generation of Western-trained family members can blend traditional and Western thinking to create value for the family.

Keywords:
Asian Family Business, Chinese Family Business, Chinese Entrepreneurship, Family Conflicts, Family Business Strategy, Next Generation Leaders, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

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