Managing for the Long Run: Lessons in Competitive Advantage from Great Family Businesses

Overview


Conventional thinking holds that family-controlled businesses are beset by inherent weaknesses from "clan" cultures to stable ownership that hobble success and erode competitive advantage. This book argues that those very traits are part of what has ensured the sustained success of some of the world's leading and long-lived family controlled businesses. This is not a book for "mom and pop" family businesses. Rather, it is for firms of all kinds and sizes who want to emulate the strategies of the best ...
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Overview


Conventional thinking holds that family-controlled businesses are beset by inherent weaknesses from "clan" cultures to stable ownership that hobble success and erode competitive advantage. This book argues that those very traits are part of what has ensured the sustained success of some of the world's leading and long-lived family controlled businesses. This is not a book for "mom and pop" family businesses. Rather, it is for firms of all kinds and sizes who want to emulate the strategies of the best family-controlled businesses for long term success.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591394150
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2005
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author


Danny Miller is a Professor of Strategy at HEC Montreal and Chair in Family Enterprise & Strategy at the University of Alberta. Isabelle Le Breton-Miller is a human resources consultant and Senior Research Associate at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at the University of Alberta.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : in search of long-term winners 1
1 What distinguishes great family businesses? 11
2 Potent priorities at the great family-controlled businesses 31
3 Brand builders 53
4 Craftsmen 79
5 Operators 105
6 Innovators 127
7 Deal makers 155
8 When family-controlled businesses stumble 183
9 Managing for the long run 209
App. A Description of the research 235
App. B Assessment grid and checklist 249
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2005

    Honestly new managment insights from a world-class researcher

    This book is amazing. I know of no other book in the management literature as cogent, as provocative or as compelling as this one. No wonder family businesses outperform their publicly-held counterparts. This book challenges not only our prejudices about family businesses, but also they way we manage our own. It shows clearly why these companies have succeeded and grown over decades to become the powerhouses they are now ¿ their competitive advantages are sustainable. The book defies what we think of as best management practices for public companies. It reminds me of Collins's 'Built to Last' and Level 5 leaders. The underlying research is THAT good. For me, the centerpiece of it all is an elegant matrix that describes how these companies have been able to deliver on 5 core strategies through the advantages long tenure, patient capital, etc. No quick accounting fixes here. Locate your own company within this matrix and the companies they studied will offer new guidance as you make your biggest bets and make your toughest decisions. I was dumbfounded at how short-sighted and small-minded I had become as a manager. It¿s not a quick read, but read it. And you will never think in quite the same way about your strategy, your core competencies, your markets, or the way you leverage/steward your current resources. This book is both sophisticated and practical. My hat is off to Miller and Breton-Miller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2005

    Mom and Pop Drive a Big, Mean Truck

    This is a liberating book about businesses run by families. It is not about family feuds or scandals. The businesses selected here are winners and the authors seek to find out why. The myth is that Mom and Pop should be replaced by professional managers. Instead, the authors developed their own data showing Mom and Pop have outperformed the professional managers for decades by a wide margin. I think the biggest surprise is that these family-run companies are less political than professionally-run firms. Their priority is to focus more on getting results for the next generation than the next quarter - and they get both. They are more stabile, better recognize hard work, and are more honest in their dealings with other people in the firm. At the top they develop strategies that are every bit as sophisticated as the professionals. Not surprisingly, they execute better year after year and get better results - in profits and growth. These guiding principals are really different. They should to be placed next to the standard 'competitive advantage' concepts taught in B-schools. The ironies are delicious. Professionally trained managers need to buy this book as a jolt - to wake up and smell the coffee. The descriptions, stories and cases are clear. The argument is persuasive: learn these lessons or be run over by an aggressive family-run business.

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