Family Climate

715 Words 3 Pages
The overarching topic from the readings for this week is that family climate plays a critical role in the success and longevity of family businesses. This topic is spread over nearly every reading for the week, including that from the textbook. In the article by Prof. Miller (from Frontiers in Psychology), family climate is broken down into three main categories: intergenerational style, family cohesion, and family process. From the readings, along with the research by Prof. Miller, it can be concluded that these three categories are indeed the principals upon which the road to success lies for family businesses.
Family intergenerational style (as we are told) is the level of authority that is exercised by the older generation, as well as how
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According to the readings, family meetings are a major part of family process – serving as a way to educate family members on information related to the wellbeing and activities of the company. Family meetings are believed to help the family become stronger, both as it pertains to a business and general relationship. We see an example in the Blethens case, as well as the Biltmore case, how family meetings can contribute to a heathier business. In the Blethens case, family meetings were a central governing body for the company. This both increased family cohesion and exhibited a very positive intergenerational style, leading to decades of success for the family business. We gain similar insight from the Biltmore case, as they view family meetings as a way to both educate family and have fun. Family process, although discussed last here, can have a direct impact on both family cohesion and perceived intergenerational style when the ideal methods are not used.
These three categories (which combine to for family climate) – intergenerational style, family cohesion, and family process – can directly affect the success and longevity of a family business, if not any business. It is made evident through this week’s readings just how family climate can differ between businesses (through the Biltmore, Bingham, and Blethens cases) and how these differences can cause differences in the health of these

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