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2024 | Book

Conflicts and Conflict Dynamics in Business Families

Dealing with Internal Family Disputes

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About this book

Conflicts within the owner circle - or rather, within the "family of the family business" - are often the main cause of existential crises for family businesses. The damaging effects of unchecked family conflicts affect two social systems: the family business and the business family itself. The impairment of the survival capability of the family business goes hand in hand with the reduced chance of constructive follow-up communication between family members. Once caught up in conflict communication, it is extremely difficult for business families to get out of it without the help of external knowledge. It is therefore surprising that the topic of conflict prevention in business families has so far been given relatively little attention.

Against this background, this book takes a closer look at the topic of "Conflicts in the Business Family" and deals with a number of topics that are essential to understanding the subject: the specific challenges and conflicts that business families typically face, as well as practically proven methods of conflict resolution at different levels. The content is based on the experiences that the two authors have gained in a variety of research projects, conflict moderation, and family strategic consulting projects over the past 18 years. The key findings from this wealth of experience are now made available to the general public.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter
1. Conflict in Business Families: The Need for Family Governance
Abstract
Family businesses are fertile fields for conflict.
Arist von Schlippe, Tom A. Rüsen
2. An “Impossible” Connection
Abstract
Conflict in business families should be seen as “the rule”; rather, the absence of conflict should be regarded as the exception that needs explanation.
Arist von Schlippe, Tom A. Rüsen
3. Typical Conflict: Courses and Mechanisms
Abstract
Conflicts are as diverse in content as the people involved and their different interests. This diversity cannot be reproduced here, and this guide does not in any case aim to address questions of specific content; there are many guides available on ideal succession plans and appropriate distribution levels. The aim here is, rather, to show the basic structures of conflict processes to help families break out of vicious circles of escalation. Those who realise that they are caught in one of these typical dynamics, which follow well-known patterns almost independently of the individual, are no longer quite so subject to (or even “victim” of) the course of the conflict. Quite apart from this, a prior awareness can prevent the corresponding course of events from ever arising: “forewarned is forearmed”. We believe that the best way to prevent crises in a business family (besides contractual regulations) is to establish a shared knowledge of the nature, course, and typical escalation scenarios in business families.
Arist von Schlippe, Tom A. Rüsen
4. Dealing with Conflicts on the Individual Level: Unfollow the Prescribed Patterns
Abstract
At this point, we cannot offer any detailed instructions on how to deal with conflicts, but only help in trying to repair a damaged dynamic within family communication. Conflict situations that have already escalated significantly are often very difficult to contain without help, and in these situations, families should not hesitate to ask for professional support.
Arist von Schlippe, Tom A. Rüsen
5. Dealing with Conflicts on the Collective Level: Family Strategy and More
Abstract
The following section suggests approaches to addressing business family conflicts at the level of the family community. The first step is to identify the form of conflict and the forum in which it should be resolved. This section depicts typical family strategy issues addressed within the context of family strategy development in relation to dealing with conflicts. Finally, it outlines the ideal multi-stage procedure for resolving conflicts. The guide concludes by providing reflection questions to identify existing attitudes towards conflict and ways to address it in a business family.
Arist von Schlippe, Tom A. Rüsen
6. Wrap-Up: 18 Key Phrases
Abstract
Family businesses are fertile fields for conflict.
Arist von Schlippe, Tom A. Rüsen
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Conflicts and Conflict Dynamics in Business Families
Authors
Arist von Schlippe
Tom A. Rüsen
Copyright Year
2024
Electronic ISBN
978-3-031-50226-2
Print ISBN
978-3-031-50225-5
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-50226-2