One Family, Multiple Businesses: Preserving Harmony and Profits

One Family, Multiple Businesses: Preserving Harmony and Profits
Category: Interviews
Published: May 22, 2023
Updated: November 14, 2023
Views: 821
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For business or emotional reasons, sometimes one family ends up with more than one business under its umbrella. An entrepreneurial, ambitious family member may want to launch a new venture, or a problematic relative may need to manage his or her own turf to minimize conflict with others in the family. 

Families with several business holdings face governance challenges that single-business families don't. In this interview with Editor Kimberly Eddleston, Professor Rania Labaki shared insights from her research, published in Family Business Review, about how to structure and manage such multi-business scenarios. 

Professor Labaki, who is Director of the Family Business Center at EDHEC Business School, says it's very important to have people at the top of the business organization who can bridge the differences that naturally arise when the family runs more than one enterprise: the competition for resources, time and family attention. Along with business acumen, emotional management is an important skill, since these top managers must balance the natural tension between the businesses and the family members who run them. And multi-business families must also look to the future, and instill these business and emotional skills in the next generation of leaders. 


Labaki, R., & Feliu, N. (2023). Introducing “Top Governance Teams”: Towards an Extension of the Family Business Cluster Model. De Gruyter Handbook of Business Families, 275-308.

Michael-Tsabari, N., Labaki, R., & Zachary, R. K. (2014). Toward the cluster model: The family firm’s entrepreneurial behavior over generations. Family Business Review27(2), 161-185.


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
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Cite this Article
DOI: 10.32617/920-646b67f39f36e
Eddleston, Kimberly. "One Family, Multiple Businesses: Preserving Harmony and Profits." 22 May. 2023. Web 24 Jun. 2024 <>.
Eddleston, K. (2023, May 22). One family, multiple businesses: preserving harmony and profits. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from