Good Practice

When Grandpa is Also the CEO - Resolving Differences in Family-Owned Businesses

September 25, 2012

Private Sector Opinion 28: Some of the same aspects of family-owned businesses that can give them a competitive advantage are also the factors that contribute to the high levels of destructive conflict that often occur in them. For example, close family ties can contribute to strong bonds of trust and cooperation, but they also can add emotional fuel to the fire when conflicts arise. Barney Jordaan argues that the best cure for these conflicts is prevention - through establishing basic family governance structures and, failing that, dispute resolution processes that are sensitive to the distinctive dynamic and singular needs of a family-owned business.

Barney Jordaan  heads the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement, University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa. He also serves as external consultant to the World Bank Group’s Office of Mediation Services and is certified as a civil and commercial mediator by the International Mediation Institute, The Hague, and the ADR Group, UK.

Foreword by Leonardo Viegas, both a founding member and deputy chairman of Brazil’s Institute of Corporate Governance.



Related materials:

Toolkit 4: Resolving Corporate Governance Disputes

Corporate Governance and Family Control, Discussion Paper 1 by Randall Morck