The Complex Family Enterprise

THE TYPE OF COMPLEX family enterprise described in this chapter—a multigenerational, cousin-owned company that has reached a mature stage of business development—is a rarity among family companies. Probably no more than 5 percent of all family businesses in the United States reach this stage of development. Companies of this stature, however, have a unique importance in our model. The very fact that they have reached this stage means that they have successfully responded to challenges that scuttle other family companies. They contribute mightily to the GNP, employment, exports, and innovation in all market economies. The fact that they are more common in the older economies of Europe and parts of Asia suggests ...

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