Anglia Ruskin University
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Corporate level strategy for sustainable family business development: critical aspects along the firm life cycle

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posted on 2023-08-30, 19:41 authored by Taurel Shrikissoon
Past research on the subject of family businesses indicates a high failure rate. As a family firm progresses beyond its founding generation, the likelihood of failure increases. With such a high predisposition to failure, it was essential to investigate what combative strategies a family business could adopt to survive. Using a case study approach, this study focusses on a family owned and operated company located in Trinidad and Tobago having its core business units in the Retail Industry of Household Furnishings. Emphasis is placed on examining the relationship between the survival of the case firm and the development of a corporate strategy that will move the firm along its life cycle, while maintaining growth and equilibrium among its family, business and ownership systems, contributing to its long-term survival. This research also highlights six key components - Goal Setting, Financial Independence, Human Resources, Decision-Making, Culture and Revenue Generation, and explores how these components evolve and fit into the corporate level strategy. Data collection on these elements was conducted through company records and a series of semi-structured interviews. Responses were evaluated alongside theoretical models, such as the Three-Circle Approach, the Three-Dimensional Model and Life Cycle Analysis. Identifying the case firm’s life cycle highlighted the implications of growth on the Family, Business and Ownership systems. Developing a successful corporate level strategy for survival would require achieving goal congruence between the stakeholders involved within each of these systems. This congruence minimises conflict and allows the case firm to successfully transition along the next stage of its life cycle. The model being proposed offers an organisational approach to survival as opposed to survival strategies dominated in silos. The findings of this research contribute to the body of information on Family Business Research with a specific aim of improving the survival rate of family firms as it is passed from one generation to the next.



Anglia Ruskin University

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