Resolving disputes in family owned businesses

Category: Conferences

Mediation Week


Almost three quarters of family owned businesses do not survive the third generation. In most instances, it seems, this is due to internal conflicts that family members are not able to resolve. These range from interpersonal conflicts, to conflicts over succession, conflicts with ‘outsiders’ in the management cadre or extended family. At other times the conflict originates from the changes that these businesses go through when they develop from informal, high-trust and flexible organisms - the very things that make them successful in the first place - into something far more bureaucratic, formal and structured. In this session we explain why these tensions develop in family-owned businesses, provide relevant examples of conflict successes and provide some guidelines about how to turn these tensions into something positive - into ‘organisational energy’ instead of calamity.

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Prof Barney Jordaan

As an expert in negotiation, influencing and conflict resolution, Barney acts as both a teacher and a mediator who earned his merits in working with international organisations such as the World Bank.


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