Pruning the Family Tree: An Unexplored Path to Family Business Continuity and Family Harmony
19 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2008
It is assumed that over the generations family businesses inevitably face greater family complexity. The increasing family complexity can have repercussions for the family and the business. To counteract these negative effects of an increase in family complexity, it has been recommended that business families utilize conventional family and corporate governance methods. Pruning the family tree is an alternative method of handling family complexity. However, this alternative way has been largely ignored in research. This article explores the research question: Why and how do business families prune the family tree, thus simplifying the ownership, governance, and/or management structures of the family business? The research findings indicate that introducing simplicity by pruning can be a worthwhile path to family harmony and business performance and that there is no contradiction between pruning the family tree and governance of the family and the business.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation