“What Factors Cause Conflicts in a Family Business?”
For the past two centuries, family businesses have sprung up all over the world. Advancement in technology and ease of communication are two major factors that have helped family businesses to expand and evolve.
If we take a closer look at history books, we can see that kings used to rule the people for many years. Once their tenure was complete, they would pass on their legacy to their heirs. The newly chosen king was supposed to benefit from all the royal luxuries his ancestors’ had. Additionally, it was his duty to follow all the royal norms and traditions and then pass them on further.
A family business is no different. A successful family business allows other members of the family and upcoming generations to enjoy the luxuries created by the elders.
Building a successful family business is indeed a hard nut to crack, but maintaining it, in the long run, is more challenging. It usually takes around twenty to twenty-five years for a business to thrive, which is a hell of a lot of time. However, the ability to manage a business diminishes with time.
For that reason, parents want their children to run their business after them. However, that’s the point where most problems occur. Parents set huge expectations for their children because they’ve worked extremely hard to set up the foundations.
They expect their children or grandchildren to behave in a certain way. They want them to follow the core values they set while establishing the business. However, with each passing generation, it is becoming more and more difficult for parents to pass on their core values to the next generation.
Unfortunately, many external factors such as the educational environment, social peers, and social media have affected the younger generation negatively to such an extent that they no more look to their parents and elders for guidance.
Several conflicts can appear while managing a family business such as rivalry among children, the clash of thinking between parents and children, children taking their family business for granted and disregarding the core business values, or parents forcing children to join their businesses even if they don’t want to.
Some parents don’t let their kids use their creativity and pressurize them to handle the business in the old way. Unfortunately, all of these issues can be solved easily just by communication.
Communicating the differences allows everyone to understand each other’s perspectives. Parents should listen to their children, and children should do the same. There shouldn’t be any place for ego, arrogance, or disrespect.
Business is important, but not more than a family. It’s wise to improve the relationship with your family first and then talk about business issues. No business should cost you the family.
Written by MADIHA AZAM (Clinical Psychologist)
Thoughts: Dr. Sadaqat Ali