Family business and family change: Individual autonomy, democratization, and the new family business institutions

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Abstract

The renewed attention to family business in western societies is usually attributed to a past lack of attention to the subject because of its private character and to the resurgence of family business in the context of economic restructuring. This paper argues that there is a third reason for the renewed attention to family business, namely, the changing character of the family institution. In particular, there are broad trends toward the pursuit of individual autonomy and democratization in family relationships. A qualitative study of high-wealth stakeholders in Australian family businesses found that the principles of individual autonomy and democratization presented challenges for family business solidarity and continuity. These challenges gave rise to new family business institutions designed to facilitate communication and trust. These institutions are at the center of the renewed attention to family business in western societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalFamily Business Review
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

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