Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship in Family Firms
Edited by Kevin Au, Justin B. Craig and K. Ramachandran
Chapter 3: Lee Kum Kee Corp. Ltd (HK): 120 years and going strong
Xinchun Li, Hang Zhu, Wenting Chen and Mimi Fu INTRODUCTION A long-established family business in China, Lee Kum Kee (LKK) Group (Hong Kong) has evolved from its modest beginnings as a small oyster oil producer 120 years ago into a large group company with subsidiaries in Hong Kong, the United States, Malaysia and China. The group is today in the hands of the fourth generation of the Lee family. Over the years, it has faced challenges posed by common family succession issues. The company also experienced difficulties at different periods due to a decline in entrepreneurship, but it ultimately got back on track as a result of successful transgenerational entrepreneurship. It is often the case that family businesses suffer from a loss of entrepreneurial spirit and disruption post-succession; thus, it is remarkable that the LKK family continues to produce entrepreneurs generation after generation to lead the family business. Now, after 120 years in business, the entrepreneurial Lee family is drawing on its experience and focusing on building a solid foundation for transgenerational entrepreneurship in the future. The LKK family’s efforts are oriented towards improving family governance as a means to sustaining the family’s entrepreneurial spirit and promoting close cooperation within the family and towards providing resources to ensure the firm’s continued entrepreneurship. These are the two main challenges facing Chinese transgenerational family businesses, and the Lee family has tried to address them head on. 40 M2725 - AU TEXT.indd 40 24/08/2011 10:06 Lee Kum Kee Corp. Ltd (HK): 120...
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