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Family-owned business: Exploring familiness

Family-owned businesses, FOBs, face the challenge of managing the escapable interactions between family members and business. This is made more difficult when there is the insistence in employing family members under any circumstance. This has led to discussions on familiness at different levels of the FOBs.

Familiness is a construct that refers to the set of resources available to the firm because of family involvement. Resources include human (reputation and experience), organisational (decision-making and learning), and process (relationships and networks). The construct characterises the various interactions among family members in the business that can lead to synergies considered unique to the business, that can either be distinctive (positive) or constrictive (negative).

Data from Jamaica show that some FOBs have gained competitive advantage from family involvement, while others are tethering on the fringes, usually resulting in business suboptimisation. In short, involvement of family members will not always lead to value-added outcomes and if not managed, can lead to business suboptimisation.

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Article & Photo from: The Gleaner 

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