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The Challenges Facing Family-Run Businesses by John Davis
Case Studies

Ensuring Family and Business Continuity at India's GMR Group

Most family businesses do not survive beyond two or three generations. One of the main reasons for the short life span of family businesses is due to the lack of governance mechanisms in the family. With better family governance, business development becomes a more enjoyable journey and ensures continuity of the business across generations. This case is about an Indian family business, GMR Group, which was established a quarter century ago, and by 2010 became one of the major diversified infrast... Read More >>

Babbitt Ranches: Governance and Strategic Planning in a Family Business

The board of Babbitt Ranches had officially adopted a constitution to guide the future of the family business. Babbitt Ranches was a fourth-generation, 122 year old family firm with extensive landholdings in Arizona. The firm's board recognized responsibility and obligation to organizational, ecological, economical, and community values through multiple bottom-line criteria in the new constitution. In addition, the constitution reinforced the family's heritage by outlining a philosophy designed... Read More >>

CP Group: Balancing the Needs of a Family Business with the Needs of a Family of Businesses

As a second generation business leader, Chairman Dhanin Chearavanont took over the family agribusiness company and built it to become a major diversified conglomerate in Thailand and expanded the business in SE Asia and China. While growing the business, he and his brothers created a holding company to both maintain and separate the interests of the family with the growing business units. As a third and possibly fourth generation of Chearavanonts enter the company, how has Chairman Dhanin create... Read More >>

Clemens Family Corp. (A): The Struggle from Family-First to Business-First

Shows how a regional family company threatened by national competition must make changes to its structure and way of doing business or face extinction or sale.
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Scott Family Enterprises (A): Defining Fair Process for Cousin Owners

A large family business in banking and ranching is shifting leadership to the next generation and has developed a protocol to select board members by consensus. However, when the selection occurs, it is not made in accordance with the protocol, and a third-generation family member questions why the selection rules were changed by second-generation members without input or vote. Highlights the growing pains of developing fair processes and guidelines for nominating and selecting board members, me... Read More >>