Ethics & the Family Business

This story outlines both the ways in which family-owned businesses are well-placed to resist the temptation to put profit over values, and the signs that your family business “is in jeopardy of heading down the wrong path.” The evidence presented here in both cases anecdotal but provocative none the less.


LINK: 5 Signs That Your Family Business Might Have an Ethics Problem (by Nick Di LoretoRob Lachenauer for Harvard Business Review)

…With recent headlines about dubious ethical choices that businesses have made in pursuit of profits, it’s not hard to imagine the pressures that influence business choices. Temptations to cut corners are very real for every business, especially companies trying to live up to Wall Street analysts’ expectations.

In theory, family businesses are well-positioned to resist those temptations. Because most family businesses are privately-held, their owners are often shielded from the pressure of quarterly reports. Instead, they can make business decisions that might look irrational to the outside world — forgoing opportunities, investing in a strategy that might not make economic sense on paper — but that are consistent with their values and long-term goals…..

What do you think?

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