Anthropologist René Girard’s theory of triangular desire and modeling makes a major contribu- tion to the theory of family business rivalry, especially when understood within the context of Ivan Lansberg’s theory of succession planning and mentoring. In Girard’s theory, human desire is always dependent on the desire of an envied model. The dependent nature of desire inevitably leads to the double bind conflict between parent-child and employer-employee, making succession plan- ning particularly troublesome. Lansberg’s theory of mentoring provides a practical solution to this timeless conflict.
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