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IIM Lucknow’s Research Unveils the Secrets of Family Structures in Business Triumph

By   /  March 6, 2024  /  Comments Off on IIM Lucknow’s Research Unveils the Secrets of Family Structures in Business Triumph

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Lucknow : A recent study from Indian Institute of Management Lucknow emphasizes the importance of maintaining a cohesive family structure, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each individual, as a key factor in running a successful family business. They also highlight family unity and conflict resolution strategies as essential mechanisms to enhance the lifespan of a family business.

Prof. Sabyasachi Sinha, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, IIM Lucknow, in collaboration with Prof. Vinod Thakur, Assistant Professor. Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, have published their research findings in the prestigious Journal of Small Business Management.

The research comprehensively evaluated existing literature, exploring how successful family businesses worldwide manage their governance structures and the resulting economic and non-economic benefits. Family governance involves establishing ground rules to resolve conflicts, promoting effective communication, strengthening family relationships, and fostering a sense of attachment among family members toward each other and the business.

Discussing the research, Prof. Sabyasachi Sinha, Associate Professor, Strategic Management, IIM Lucknow, explained, “As businesses expand in size and scope, they become increasingly complex. Similarly, families managing businesses face complexity as they become multigenerational and increase in size. The adoption of family governance structures by family businesses results in transformative changes both within the family and the business. It leads to the peaceful resolution of family conflicts and successful addressing of business challenges.”

Unlike corporate structures, where positions are established due to regulatory requirements, a family business structure is voluntary and unique. It is crucial, as suggested by the researchers, to distinguish between the family—relationships, roles, interactions, complexities, and conflicts—and the business aspect of the family business, creating a balance in both family and work life.

Furthermore, the research team identified five crucial family structures: family meetings, a formal family council, a family office for wealth management, and a family constitution, which is a written document detailing policies and principles. Additionally, informal governance structures, such as family celebrations, activities, and retreats, were deemed important.

Emphasizing the relevance of having family mechanisms in place, Prof. Sinha added, “Our advice to family businesses is that as they expand their business and family, they should conduct more structured family meetings, establish family offices, and initiate processes to adopt a family constitution. These measures will enhance family unity, build a more coherent relationship between the family and the business, ensure a smoother transition of succession, and better utilize the capabilities of family members.”

The research team highlighted in their study that future research should differentiate between various family governance structures while exploring their influence on the family and business systems. Governance structures might serve different requirements of a business family. Future research must examine why family firms adopt a particular governance structure compared to others and explore the process of developing these structures.

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