November 5, 2010
While all companies face challenges, family-owned businesses have greater risks. Personal dynamics add a layer of complexity to professional relationships, and topics like job descriptions or succession may go unaddressed because of unspoken assumptions. JCK consulted with academic experts who study family businesses and talked to jewelry industry insiders to get their perspective on the top traps for family-owned businesses—and how to avoid them.
“Family businesses tend to be more conservative and not take the bold actions a lot of small businesses might take,” says Jeremy Short, professor of management at Texas Tech University. A lack of staff autonomy—a common result, Short says—reduces innovation. “It has potential to constrain decision-making and proactive thinking about market challenges.”