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Family firms have all the challenges of any business and, because they are run by families, they have to contend with the blurring of boundaries between family, management and ownership systems. Textbooks such as Poza Family Business point out how conflicts are likely to arise around ownership succession in family firms, and the need to manage succession so as to enhance the interests of family and business. This case provides an opportunity to consider the intertwined nature of family and business problems in the succession process of a family firm which, despite steady growth earlier in its history, is now characterized by family conflict and falling performance. How should the conflicts, aspirations and potential contributions of family members be handled alongside the pressing business issues confronting the firm? The Instructor's Manual sets out a sequence of discussion questions that allow students to build a comprehensive understanding of the issues, enabling them to advise the primary decision-maker in the case. It also suggests other teaching approaches such as using the family genogram to predict likely family business problems, using debating topics to generalize from the case, and comparing the actual outcome of the case with students' recommendations for action. The case is intended for a graduate or advanced undergraduate course in family business.
Barrett, M. & Moores, K. (2013). Succession at Buchanan Transport. NACRA Case Research Journal, 33 (2), 75-94.