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Heritage is a newsletter geared toward the interests of family business owners. It is published by the Family-Owned Business Institute at The University of Tulsa. To learn more about the Family-Owned Business Institute, visit our website at:

Acting Director's Notes:
Family Business Research

Claire CornellOn Saturday, November 18th, George Vozikis and I will be presenting a paper at an international conference in Hawaii on “Offspring Intentions to Join the Family Business: Does Culture Make a Difference?” Eleni Stavrou, from the University of Cyprus, was instrumental in conducting this research. Data were collected from students whose families owned a family business at The University of Tulsa and from students attending college in Greece. The purpose of the study was to ascertain if culture influenced an offspring’s decision to join the family business and if so, what were the cultural variables influencing that decision.  

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Director's Notes:
Family Business Research

Mission Possible:  Wives and Entrepreneur Husbands

Family Companies Sometimes Need Different Perspective

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Upcoming FOBI

December Party

For FOBI Members
and Guests Only

Saturday, December 9
7:00-10:00 p.m.

SpiritBank's Business Resource Center

January Meeting

Monday, January 15
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Allen Chapman Center

Topic:  Why I Chose Not to Sell My Family Business

Speaker:  Rick Hudson,
R.L. Hudson Company

Mission Possible:  Wives and
Entrepreneur Husbands

Mike Henning Nearly 4 million private companies in the United States have two or more active owners.  These types of partnerships commonly have brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, moms and dads, and combinations of these and other relatives working side by side in the family business.  Apart from a single owner operated company, the partnership situation presents a special set of challenges.  For example, partners in a company are intensely challenged to have excellent communication with each other.  This communication must be planned on a regular basis and address, among obvious issues about business, such topics as values, expectations, boundaries and a living mission specifically for the partnership

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There are 1.2 million husband and wife teams running companies in the U.S.  (NFIB, 2003)

The number of family businesses run by women has grown 37% in the past five years with an average annual revenue was $26.9 million last year
(Boston Business Journal,
Sept. 4, 2003)

Family Companies Sometimes
Need Different Perspective

A lot of proverbs, shibboleths and tired old saws surround family businesses. Someday all this will be yours" is one of them. "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" is another. Maybe that's why some business owners and family members tend to fall back on standard points of view.

To the extent that it discourages fresh thinking, that's a dangerous habit for a family company. Every so often it's healthy to take a new look, get a different perspective on some of our accustomed ways of seeing things.

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Editor:  Claire Cornell
Designer & Publisher:
Nancy Shelton