Chapter 3

Family Business Theories

Life Cycles of a Family Business

There are several different life cycles (or stages) families need to consider concerning family firms. A usual life cycle model, such as one that marketing professionals use to plan and manage new products, describes the four stages of birth, growth, maturity, and decline. Family firms go through similar stages as individuals, as a family, and as an organization. Individuals advance through several standard life cycle stages: preadulthood (birth through age 15), provisional adulthood (16–30), early adulthood (31–45), middle adulthood (46–60), late adulthood (61–75), and late-late adulthood (75-plus years).

Each member of the family passes through his or her individual life cycle ...

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