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Love and Work: Finding One's Place in the Family Firm

Published 29 Oct 2002
Reference 5065
Topic Marketing
Region Europe
Summary

The critical issues facing young adults from family businesses involve balancing responsibility to family with their own career aspirations. The Love and Work case helps students recognize that there are many ways other than full time employment for participating in their family business. Rena—a young MBA student from a business family—discusses the deeply emotional issues she faced as she was deciding whether to return to the family firm or seek her own career outside. The case study is structured to allow students to study her conflict and dilemmas, and project their own family business career issues. The final case segment is designed to help students recognize the many forms of important participation that a family business can create, including governance, ownership, and advising.

Teaching objectives

The Love and Work case has been taught many times with MBA students and executives. It is popular because Rena's personal story resonates with the issues they are facing. These unique family career issues include:
- What are my responsibilities to my family?
- Should I explore a new career option outside of the family business, and if so, for how long?
- What other options for participation in the family business exist (advisor, board member, owner)?

Keywords
  • Family business
  • Family firms
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business families
  • Leadership succession
  • Career management
  • Family business succession
  • Family business conflict resolution
  • Family business careers. AR2002
  • AR0203
  • RD0902
  • WICFE
  • Fair process, communication, psychology, gender
  • Succession, next generation
  • Education, entrepreneurship, leadership
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