Why business families fight and how to resolve disputes
SummaryThe causes vary but appropriate mechanisms can be employed to attain harmony once they are identified
A patriarch of a family business once told me, “Running a business is easy. Running a family is difficult. Running a family business is the most difficult." About 300 of our top 500 companies are family businesses. They contribute over 25% of India’s gross domestic product and employ large numbers of people. Yet, we know that all families fight. If these fights are not contained, they disrupt the business, its employees, its investors, its partners, and the overall economy. If what the patriarch asserted is true, it is a worthy exploration to uncover the various reasons that can provide tinder for family fights. If business families watch out for these, a brewing fight will not surprise them, and can often be prevented or at least managed in a non-disruptive manner.