Chapter 3

Family Dynamics

Appreciating family dynamics is a crucial step in understanding the family business. Too often the absence of an interest in how families are structured and how their members interact leads to unwarranted conclusions on the part of consultants as well as family members. What has taken the place of understanding, and continues to do so, is both the dark pleasure with which colorful accounts in newspapers and magazines of the collapse of a family business are received and the professional literature that pounces on designated individuals as the source of family business difficulties. Both sources fail to understand how family dynamics have allowed or supported the actions of the designated “failure” and how that individual’s ...

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