14152392.Family Owning Business

14152392.Family Owning Business - FAMILY BUSINESS-OWNING...

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FAMILY BUSINESS-OWNING COUPLES: AN EFT VIEW INTO THEIR UNIQUE CONFLICT CULTURE Sharon M. Danes Erin A. Morgan ABSTRACT: This study expands the understanding of business-re- lated tensions within business-owning couples through an interdisci- plinary literature review, through a longitudinal data analysis, and through application of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to a case study. Business-owning husbands and wives in this study reported that conflicts related to work/family life balance and unfair distribu- tion of resources (money, time, energy) between family and business systems create the greatest tensions. Low family functionality, wives’ role dissatisfaction, transfer of resources from family to business, and husbands’ identification of wives as major decision makers were all predictors of wives’ higher tension levels. Husbands reported increased tension when wives worked more hours in the business. Three elements of EFT are applied to a family business couple. KEY WORDS: family businesses; business-owning couples; Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT); family business conflict; couple conflict. Sharon M. Danes, PhD, is a professor and Erin A. Morgan, MS, LAMFT, is a research assistant in the Family Social Science Department, University of Minnesota. Send any communications to the first author at University of Minnesota, Department of Family Social Science, 290 McNeal Hall, St. Paul, MN 55108 (sdanes@che.umn.edu). This paper reports results from the Cooperative Regional Research Project, NE-167 ‘‘Family Business Viability in Economically Vulnerable Communities,’’ partially sup- ported by the Cooperative States Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES); U.S. Department of Agriculture; the experiment stations at the University of Arkansas, University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Illinois, Purdue Univer- sity (Indiana), Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, Montana State University, University of Nebraska, Cornell University (New York), North Dakota State University, The Ohio State University, University of Rhode Island, Utah State Uni- versity, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (for the University of Manitoba). 241 Contemporary Family Therapy 26(3), September 2004 Ó 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
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In recent years, entrepreneurship has increased as a career choice for both men and women. That increase has affected the prevalence of family businesses so that currently in one of about 10 (13.8%) house- holds there resides a family business (Heck & Trent, 1999). Along with the expanding number of family businesses has come an expansion of consultation with family businesses (Deacon, 1996; Kaslow, 1993; McClendon & Kadis, 1991; Rodriguez, Hildreth, & Mancuso, 1999). One of the reasons for that growth is that a number of the business consultants who currently assist family businesses have indicated that conflict is one of the fastest growing concerns affecting the sustain- ability of family businesses (Cosier & Harvey, 1998; Danes & Olson, 2003; Ward & Aronoff, 1994).
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14152392.Family Owning Business - FAMILY BUSINESS-OWNING...

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