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Palgrave Macmillan

Family Business as Paradox

ISBN 9780230302822
Publication Date November 2010
Formats Ebook (EPUB) Hardcover Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series A Family Business Publication

A family business, by its very nature, is a contradiction. Successful, multi-generation family businesses have figured out how to manage these contradictions and in many cases turn them into a secret of their success.

The first step is to suspend judgment about contradictions and recognize that we have been brought up and educated to treat all problems the same, when not all problems are the same. Not all can be solved, and the remainder must be managed or coped with. In order to do this, we have to develop the capacity within ourselves and our organization to thrive on contradictions.

This book provides the common language, framework, tools and processes needed to learn to embrace, manage and, in some cases, synthesize contradictions in a family business. To be successful business leaders, we need to develop an appreciation for ambiguity, and we need to fundamentally shift how we think about and manage contradictions in the workplace.

Please join a discussion on Family Business as Paradox and other family business dialogue at www.familybusinessasparadox.com

JOHN L. WARD is Co-Founder and Principal of The Family Business Consulting Group, and Clinical Professor of Family Enterprises and
Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises at Kellogg School of Management (USA). He is an active researcher, speaker and consultant on succession, ownership, governance, and family foundations, and is the author of leading books on family business. Ward currently serves on the boards of four companies in the US, Canada and Europe.
AMY SCHUMAN is a Principal with the Family Business Consulting group, working with family businesses to create conditions that
support successful continuity across the generations. Schuman was the founding Facilitator of the Next Generation Leadership Institute, an intensive, two year program for next generation family business leaders at the Loyola University Chicago Family
Business Center. She authored Nurturing the Talent to Nurture the Legacy: Career Development in the Family Business and co-authored, with John L. Ward, Family Education for Business Owning Families: Strengthening Bonds by Learning Together.
STACY STUTZ is a Chicago-based independent consultant with twenty years of diverse experience in consulting and management. She has consulted with privately held and public companies in industries ranging from financial services to consumer electronics. Her family history of entrepreneurship provided a foundation for her work with family enterprises to establish governance and management strategies to sustain them into future generations. Stutz is an engineer and graduate of the Kellogg School of Management.

Introduction - Appreciating Both

Paradox Capacity And Capability
Problems Are Not All The Same
Prospering In The Face Of Ambiguity
Capture The Inherent Tension
What Lies Ahead

Part 1-Acknowledging Both
- Where Is Your Family Business's Current Focus - Family Or Business?
1 - Which To Choose: Family Or Business?
To Choose Or Not To Choose
Choose Both
Family And Business Intersection
Paradox Of Individual And Collective
Individual And Collective In Action
Celebrating Paradox At Beretta
Assessment Summary
2 - Tradition And Change In Family Firms
The Godrej Group: Model Of Tradition And Change
Distinctive Time Orientation
Complex Successor Dilemmas
Internally Driven Strategy
Enduring Values
Tradition And Change At Beretta

Part II-Identifying Both
3 - Predictable Paradoxes Across The Generations
Generational Oscillation
Predictable Paradoxes: Founder Stage
Predictable Paradoxes: Sibling Partnership Stage
Predictable Paradoxes: Cousin Collaboration Stage
The Enterprising Family
Generational Paradoxes: Final Analysis
4 - Predictable Conflicts In The Intersections
From Two Systems To Three
Problem – Conflict – Contradiction – Paradox
Understanding The Intersections
Family – Management Conflicts
Management – Ownership Conflicts
Ownership – Family Conflicts
Governance Structures
Intersections: Final Analysis

Part III – Managing Both
5 - A Continuum For Addressing Paradoxes
Either/Or - Both/And
The Paradox Management Continuum
Family Employment On The Continuum
The Art Of Paradox Management
Cycle Of Renewal And Benefit
6 - One Key Tool: The Polarity Map™
Anna's Family Business And Polarity Mapping
The Continuum And The Map
Another Polarity Map™: Family Councils
Step-By-Step Through The Polarity Map™
Final Reflections

Part IV –Achieving Both
7 - Experience The Power Of Paradox
Sources Of Continuity
Culture Unlocks The Power Of Paradox
From Implicit To Explicit
A Look Toward Fusion

Appendix A: Historical Perspective On Paradox
Appendix B: Paradoxes In Business Literature
Appendix C: Family First – Business First Assessment
Appendix D: More On Polarity Maps™



'Paradoxes are part of life and are especially evident in the family business. Family Business as Paradox is an excellent manual for how to manage paradox in the family business. The Polarity mapping model is well explained and can be a very helpful process in working through the many issues that family businesses encounter. This book will be helpful and empowering to any family business who wants to go from 'either/or' to 'both/and' in managing paradox.' - Mary Andringa, President & CEO, Vermeer Corporation (USA)
'The 43 years that I spent in our family business made me realize that managing paradoxes is crucial to family business success. One of Murugappa family's core values is to maintain a style of operations befitting our size, yet reflecting moderation and humility. The authors consider precisely such paradoxes in this book. More importantly, they provide a practical problem-solving framework to manage such family business paradoxes and the conflicts that arise as a result. This book is a must-read for all multi-generational families in business.' - M.V. Subbiah, past CEO, The Murugappa Group (India)
'This book comes at just the right moment for us. As we go through the process of transition to a fourth generation business, I found a fresh perspective on the issues we all know about. There are some really creative ideas as to how to build on the positives which we will use as we move forward.' - Thomas G. Bata, Chairman. Bata Group (Canada)
'Schuman, Stutz and Ward shed light and bring clarity to some of the murkier and more complex aspects of family business through their astute analysis of the inherent tensions and strengths of the many paradoxes that are family business.' - Robert Pasin, President & CEO, Radio Flyer Inc.(USA)
'Family business paradoxes are real and mutual acceptance of these paradoxes requires profound analysis. As an example, business transfer to the next generation always brings to the forefront many issues as the transfer is also an emotional process. I greatly appreciate the authors' long-term approach and focus on family businesses. I warmly recommend this book as essential reading for all family entrepreneurs.' - MaaritToivanen-Koivisto, President & CEO, Onninen Oy (Finland)
'The opportunity to honor tradition while remaining dynamic and relevant to current and future guests is both challenging to our management team and energizing. Until I read this book, I had not considered the many paradoxes that are inherent in family business and I certainly didn't realize that it was possible to have it all, to achieve both sides of the paradox, to have both tradition and change, to have growth and liquidity, to know that putting the family first may be in the best interest of the family business. I so appreciate the wealth of information presented in this book. Thanks to Amy Schuman, Stacy Stutz and John Ward for sharing all of this with us!' - Dini Pickering, Vice Chairman of the Board, The Biltmore Company (USA)
'The authors examine the reality of living and working with the ambiguities present in all family businesses and provide new tools for their analysis and objective understanding. This book will allow and encourage family business stakeholders to recognize problems as paradoxes and progress from instinctive to deliberate, explicit management. New skills thereby attained will be energizing and invigorating, providing leverage to capitalize upon effective family business dynamics.' - Alex Scott, Executive Chairman, Sand Aire Limited (UK)
'Paradox is normal in our family business. We allocate a lot of quality time in our family meetings to look for dual solutions. A common family mission mindset with real team spirit is essential to achieve long lasting commitment.' - David Lee, Chairman, Lee Kum Kee Co. Ltd. (Hong Kong)
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