Sibling Relationships and Intergenerational Succession in Family Firms

  • Friedman S
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Sibling relationships can turn into rivalries that destroy family firms. In this article, clinical and theoretical research on families, organizations, and conflict resolution are drawn on to develop intervention strategies aimed at helping family firm members both increase awareness about forces that sustain destructive sibling conflicts and find ways of working through them. Competition for parental love and attention spurs sibling rivalry. Whether siblings become rivalrous depends largely on parental responses to this contest. Because adult brothers and sisters in family firms remain organizationally subordinated to their parents, they face unique challenges in overcoming sibling rivalry's harmful effects. Yet this is precisely the task confronting them if they are to sustain family management of their business through intergenerational succession.

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  • Stewart D. Friedman

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