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Synopsis

The challenge faced by family businesses and their stakeholders, isto recognise the issues that they face, understand how to developstrategies to address them and more importantly, to createnarratives, or family stories that explain the emotional dimensionof the issues to the family. The most intractable family businessissues are not the business problems the organisation faces, butthe emotional issues that compound them. Applying psychodynamicconcepts will help to explain behaviour and will enable the familyto prepare for life cycle transitions and other issues that mayarise.

Here is a new understanding and a broader perspective on thehuman dynamics of family firms with two complementary frameworks,psychodynamic and family systematic, to help make sense offamily-run organisations. Although this book includes a conceptualsection, it is first and foremost a practical book about the realworld issues faced by business families.

The book begins by demonstrating that many years of achievementthrough generations can be destroyed by the next, if the familyfails to address the psychological issues they face. By exploringcases from famous and less well known family businesses across theworld, the authors discuss entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurialfamily and the lifecycles of the individual and the organisation.They go on to show how companies going through change andtransition can avoid the pitfalls that endanger both family andcompany. The authors then apply tools that will help familybusinesses in transition and offer their analyses andconclusions.

Readers should draw their own conclusions from carefulexamination of the cases, identifying the problems or dilemmasfaced and the options for improved business performance and familyrelationships. They should ask what they might have done in thegiven situation and what new insight into individual or familybehaviour each case offers. The goal is to avoid a bitterending.

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