UWE helps family business survive into the next generation

Issue date: 10 June 2010

UWE A one-day seminar on how family dynamics and relationships affect the survival of family businesses is being hosted by the University of the West of England's Bristol Business School on 16 June. The seminar will be addressed by the leading thinkers in the field of family business from both the UK and the US.

The seminar is called 'Strategic Thinking in Second Generation Family Firms' and is being held at UWE's Exhibition and Conference Centre at the Frenchay Campus on 16 June from 9.30 – 17.15. The event is organized by Professor Nicholas O'Regan and Dr Lorna Collins.

Professor O'Regan said, “Family owned businesses in the UK account for over 75 per cent of all business firms and employ about 50 per cent of the national workforce, making a significant contribution to the economy. However less than a quarter of family businesses survive to the second generation and only about a seventh survive to the third generation.

“Family values and business rules often conflict resulting in greater tensions, particularly during a recession. The 'family' and 'business' elements overlap and impact on the strategic behaviour of the firm as it responds to changing environmental dynamics.

“Transferring knowledge from one generation to the next is vital for attaining and maintaining competitive advantage. Bristol Business School's Family Business Research Unit has examined the particular processes and characteristics of family firms that facilitate the acquisition, sharing, transfer and application of knowledge to the next generation.”

Keynote speakers at the seminar include Professor David Storey of Warwick Business School, Professor Denise Fletcher of the University of Sheffield, Professor Ellie Hamilton, Lancaster University and Professor Franz Kellermans from Mississippi State University.

Topics covered by the seminar will include how local culture impacts on family communications and the capacity to think strategically. It will look at different communicative styles and strategies, and which are most effective in the family business context. The seminar will also look at how power balance, organisational culture, leadership, individual styles and family relationships shape and are shaped by communication.

The cost of the one-day seminar is £25 - for more information or to book a place e-mail lorna.collins@uwe.ac.uk


Editor's Notes

• The seminar is part of a range of other activities and courses are organised by UWE to help family businesses. For more information on its courses visit http://www.uwe.ac.uk/bbs/business/short/family.shtml

- For more information on UWE's Family Business Research Unit visit http://www.uwe.ac.uk/bbs/research/centient/enterprise/family.shtml

- The seminar series is sponsored by the ESRC, British Academy of Management, International Centre for Families in Business and the British Library.

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