Consulting to Family Businesses: Contracting, Assessment, and Implementation / Edition 1

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Jane Hilburt-Davis and W. Gibb Dyer— two of the country's foremost experts in the field of family business— offer in one comprehensive volume a systematic approach for developing the skills and competencies you need to consult with these unique systems. This practical, hands-on resource shows you how to manage each stage of the consulting process— from the first contact to the last— and reveals how to plan strategically and deal with the complex relationship issues that are commonplace in family businesses.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…the book offers a sophisticated framework matched with ample resources." (Consulting to Management, Vol 15, no. 2; 6/1/2004)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787962494
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/12/2002
  • Series: J-B O-D (Organizational Development) Series, #15
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Hilburt-Davis is a founding principal of Key Resources, a consulting group firm that specialized in working with family and closely-held businesses. Recognized as a leader in the field of family businesses, she also co-founded the Cambridge Center for Creative Enterprise, an award-winning training and research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

W. Gibb Dyer is the O. Leslie Stone Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Dyer is a recognized authority on family business and entrepreneurship. He has been featured in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Inc., The New York Times, and Nation's Business.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits.



Part 1: The Family Business System.

1. Why Family Business Consulting?

What Is a Family Business?

Family Firm Systems.

Family Business Consulting.

The Development of the Field.

2. Characteristics of "Healthy" Family Businesses.

Healthy Family Businesses.

Unhealthy Family Enterprises.

Strengths and Weaknesses.

Part 2: Consulting to Family Businesses.

3. Contracting and Assessment.

The Consulting Process.

First Contact.

Chemistry Meeting.

Proposal/Engagement Letter/Contract.

Assessment and Diagnosis.

Are We There Yet?

4. Feedback and Planning.

Feedback and Action Planning.

Creating New Solutions.

Planning Ahead: After the Feedback Session.

Additional Tips for a Feedback Meeting.

Dealing with Conflicts.

5. Intervening in Family Firms.

Intervening in Family Firms.

Implementation Phase of the Action Research Model.

The Intervention Grid.


Types of Interventions.

Family Dynamics Issues.

Guidelines for Interventions.

6. Helping Family Firms Make Developmental Transitions.

Developmental Stages and Tasks.

Transitional DynamicsAssessing the Client s Abilities to Work Through Developmental Stages.

Guidelines for Consultants.

Implications for Practice.

Part 3: The Family Business Consultant.

7. Skills and Ethics of the Family Business Consultant.


Knowledge and Skills Required.

Multidisciplinary Teams.


Ethical Issues.

8. Special Situations and Challenges.




Gender Issues.

Nonfamily Managers.

Family Office/Family Foundations.


9. The Rewards and Challenges of Consulting to Family Businesses.



About the Series.

Statement of the Board.

Afterword to the Series.

About the Editors.

About the Authors.


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