MANAGING FAMILY BUSINESS CONFLICTS
Small Enterprise|November 2020
THE MAJORITY OF INDIAN FAMILY OWNED BUSINESSES ARE LIKELY TO FAIL BECAUSE OF INTERNAL CHALLENGES – WITH THE KEY ISSUE BEING INEVITABLE – AND DESTRUCTIVE – FAMILY CONFLICTS. SO IF A FAMILY WANTS TO PASS A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS ONTO THE NEXT GENERATION, IT NEEDs TO DEVELOP ITS OWN TOOLS AND SYSTEMS FOR MANAGING CONFLICTS
Dr N. Krishnan

10 TIPS FOR MANAGING FAMILY BUSINESS CONFLICTS

The majority of family firm conflicts are predictable. Conflict avoidance will do more harm to a family than facing up to difficult situations; instead it is important to have an agreed “conflict resolution process”. The tips on these pages will help to address:

Conflicts over strategy and direction Conflicts because there are too many family member “bosses” Conflicts over who may or may not be employed Conflicts over the treatment of family members in the company Conflicts over compensation Conflicts over succession Conflicts among siblings Conflicts due to different ownership philosophies Conflicts between inside and outside shareholders Tensions involving spouses

Family meetings: One of the single most effective practices that a family which works together can implement is to hold periodic family meetings. Holding periodic family meetings helps to ensure that there is a forum for family (and often also for ownership) issues to be discussed.

Establish shared family values, goals & objectives: Shared family values help to provide “family glue” and become a tool in joint decision making. Shared goals and objectives for the business put everyone on the same page.

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