Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments

Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments

Opportunities and Resources in Latin America

Edited by Mattias Nordqvist, Giuseppe Marzano, Esteban R. Brenes, Gonzalo Jiménez and Maria Fonseca-Paredes

Understanding Entrepreneurial Family Businesses in Uncertain Environments, the third volume in the STEP series, is uniquely centered on familial entrepreneurial activity in Latin America. The contributions, based on empirical evidence and an overall theoretical framework, focus on practical learning in addition to the advancement of scholarly knowledge.

Chapter 5: Appeasement Entrepreneurship: Family Conflict as a Source of New Business Opportunities

Thomas C. Gura

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business


Thomas C. Gura INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the phenomenon of independent business venture creation as a means of appeasement or ‘olive branch’ offering for a member of the family who does not wish to participate even partially in the main transgenerational family business venture. Appeasement commonly refers to granting concessions in order to maintain peace and harmony, and it generally follows a period of conflict or disagreement that has reached an impasse and requires an act of pacification to foster an atmosphere more conducive to the reduction or elimination of the tensions between parties. Additionally, and for the purpose of this discussion, by transgenerational family business we mean those companies that have been founded and continue to be controlled by one or more families over at least two generations. These companies have always been in the control of their founding families, and in the cases under discussion, it looks as though this situation is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future (Chua et al., 1999). This chapter will provide a series of arguments with the intention of presenting a novel perspective in entrepreneurial family business research: that relating to entrepreneurial business ventures created by family members who could have easily joined the main family business rather than creating their own independent ventures. The current case research reveals how some business ventures are founded after a period of conflict between two or more members of a family business enterprise. In essence, by deciding to break away from a family business, these...

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