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Management article
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Reference no. 71206
Authors: Harry Levinson
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 1971

Abstract

The fundamental psychological conflict that plagues family businesses is rivalry, compounded by feelings of guilt. Company founders feel rivalry when they unconsciously sense that subordinates threaten to remove them from their center of power. For the founders the business is an extension of themselves which they have great difficulty giving up. By confronting and discussing their feelings of hostility and rivalry, possibly in the presence of a neutral third party, family members begin to resolve their problems.

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Abstract

The fundamental psychological conflict that plagues family businesses is rivalry, compounded by feelings of guilt. Company founders feel rivalry when they unconsciously sense that subordinates threaten to remove them from their center of power. For the founders the business is an extension of themselves which they have great difficulty giving up. By confronting and discussing their feelings of hostility and rivalry, possibly in the presence of a neutral third party, family members begin to resolve their problems.

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