Summary of The Family Business

Its Governance for Sustainability

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The Family Business book summary
Family business: rewarding, profitable, and all too often, short-lived.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Fred Neubauer and Alden G. Lank take a long hard look at the family business, both as a powerful engine of economic development and as a fragile organism in need of constant care and attention. After an initial examination of family business’ role in the global economy, Neubauer and Lank turn to an assessment of what makes some family concerns thrive while others disintegrate. Their answer: corporate governance, or the lack thereof. An academic tone permeates the book, resulting in both some patches of dry prose and an intellectual rigor lacking in most business books. highly recommends this serious study of family business to any serious students of business in general.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How families exert their influence over companies that they control
  • How family businesses change as younger generations replace corporate founders
  • Which institutions and governance practices characterize successful family businesses
  • How long-lived family businesses manage the issue of CEO succession


The Nature and Power of Family Business
The family business has played a key role in driving economic development throughout history. In writing about the economic activities of the Hellenic Age, Aristotle described how private individuals and families - with the help of armies of slaves...
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About the Authors

Fred Neubauer is a professor of Multinational Corporate Strategy and Planning at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has been a consultant to multinational corporations, many of them leading, family-controlled enterprises. He is the co-author of Corporate Board - Confronting the Paradoxes. Alden G. Lank is a professor of Family Enterprises and Organizational Behavior at the Institute for Management Development. He is also President and member of the Executive Board of the Family Business Network and sits on the editorial board of the Family Business Review.

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