Corporate Bloodlines: The Future of the Family Firm

Barbara Bucholz, Author, Stewart Richardson, Editor, Margaret Crane, With Carol Publishing Corporation $18.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-8184-0507-5
Problems in her family's wine and spirits business led Crane, with the assistance of former St. Louis Post-Dispatch business reporter Buchholz, to study the causes of successes and failures experienced by family-owned companies (which reportedly comprise 90% of America's businesses). The authors focus on 14 multi-generational, medium-sized firms, ranging from a moving company and a bookstore chain to a farm, an office-cleaning service and a funeral home. Their policies and methods of operation, Buchholz and Crane found, reflect values, lifestyles and ethnic traditions as varied as the businesses themselves. Family loyalty, we're shown, can readily be undermined by greed and power struggles leading to bitter lawsuits; other businesses are done in by the incestuous closeness of family members. Some firms must call on outside expertise to remedy problems. The well-rounded survey concludes with guidelines designed to achieve business management that combines professionalism with paternalism. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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