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Family businesses are complex systems which require good strategy, leadership, and committed personnel in order to thrive. Compared to other businesses family businesses are characterized by two dynamic and sometimes conflicting reference systems, the family (the emotional) and the company (the professional). Succession is mentioned in the literature as one of the four main categories of problems, along with problems of strategy, of the conflicts that can arise between family members and the problems of the daily management. The management of conflict and communication frequently determine the effectiveness of the family business.

The "Family Business in the New Economy: How to Survive and Develop" (FAMBUS) project aims to develop a model for diagnosis and self-therapy (diagnostics - therapy, including conflict resolution, modernization, adoption to environment, to globalization etc.). The model aims to promoting healthy personal relationships and building high performing teams, as well as to serve as an outside resource that brings objectivity and direction to a certain situation in family businesses. It may unfold unfinished or unspoken issues and help the family business members to work toward their own unique solutions.

The creation of the model is based on the results of the quantitative study (a survey comprising a structured questionnaire completed by 200 Finnish and Greek family businesses) and qualitative study (Personal site visits and interviews comprising 20 interviews in both Finland and Greece) for obtaining deeper understanding of the research problem and to support the design of the diagnosis and self-therapy model.

The most important contribution of this work is anticipated to be the novel family business diagnosis and self-therapy model and subsequent electronic tool in three languages, English, Finnish and Greek, for identification of potential problem areas and potential activities for their solutions. The aim of the model is to aid family businesses to avoid difficulties at an early stage and to serve as a self-therapy model.


Family Businesses, Diagnosis and Self Therapy Model, Sustainable Development, the FAMBUS Project, Greece, Finland
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