Co-Preneurship & Sibling Rivalry in Family Business Research: Building or Stumbling Block?
Refereed research paper presented at the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship. Cardiff, UK, 12-13 November.
6 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2014
Date Written: November 13, 2013
Objectives - This exploratory study draws attention to "sibling" as opposed to the traditional familial orientations that have pervaded the discourse in family business research. The paper poses three key questions revolving around the current trend in family business research: (i) how does sibling rivalry enhance our understanding of the dynamics of family business? (ii) Is sibling rivalry a building or stumbling block in copreneurship? (iii) What lessons can be learnt for the future direction of family business research?
Prior work - Family business research has been predominantly skewed towards succession planning discourse with trajectories enunciating succession from either Father to Daughter (e.g. the Hiltons, Osbornes, Sumner & Shari Redstone); or Father to Son e.g. Rupert & James Murdoch, Lakshmi & Aditya Mittal. Not much consideration has been given to sibling family business let alone rivalry in such businesses.
Approach - The study is conceptual, based on a qualitative enquiry drawing upon case illustrations of "copreneurship" amongst siblings (i.e. brothers, sisters or a combination of these). This is also backed by additional insight from a CNBC profiling of "famous family business feuds."
Results - Entrepreneurship is fast-transcending the familiar family business orientations towards "sibling" collaborations and/or rivalries as in the case of Indian giants (such as the Tata brothers; Ambanis, and Hinduja brothers etc) and Arab conglomerates (e.g. the Arab world siblings such as the Al Futtaim brothers in the UAE).
Implications - While most of the examples outlined in this study are based on sibling rivalry and/or collaboration, from notable family businesses with a South Asia pedigree, there are still implications for future research into the subject of family business. For example, a comparative study of sibling copreneurship versus couple (husband and wife) copreneurship may yet reveal some unanticipated results that would enhance the development of family business research.
Value - This exploratory study provides a pioneering attempt to establish whether success or failure of sibling business differs from what is arguably the status quo in family business research - i.e. instances of succession. As a consequence, the study provides fresh insights into potential "new realities" confronting family business research taken from the purview of the concept of "sibling rivalry."
Keywords: Copreneurship; Sibling rivalry; Family business; Conceptual paper; Qualitative study
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