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Family Business Characteristics

Adapted from slides by John Ward Professor of Family Business, IMD.

For the Family Firm

For the Non-Family Firm



maximizing near-term share price


to preserve the assets and reputation of the owning family

to meet institutional investors expectations

Fundamental belief

the first priority is to protect downside risk

more risk promises more return

Strategic Orientation


constant growth

Management focus

continuous innovation

incremental improvement

Most important stakeholders

customers and employees

shareholders and management

Business is seen as

a social institution

a disposable asset

Leadership is


personal charisma

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