Entrepreneurial%20Learning%20Between%20and%20Across%20the%20Generations%20in%20Family%20Businesses - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Title: Entrepreneurial%20Learning%20Between%20and%20Across%20the%20Generations%20in%20Family%20Businesses

  • Entrepreneurial Learning Between and Across the
    Generations in Family Businesses
  • Kawartha Family Business Group
  • February 25, 2013
  • Michael Konopaski PhD Thesis
  • Lancaster University Management School
    Institute of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

  • The Study
  • 40 family business case studies from Peterborough
    (and within 40 km)
  • Participants are from 40 different family
  • For most of the participants, it was the first
    time in their lives they had reflected on the
    questions in the interview

  • Methodology
  • Interviews with Transcription
  • Grounded Theory followed by Quantitative Analysis

  • Sampling passage from thesis

  • The Main Research Question how do individuals
    in a family business learn to sustain growth and
    continuity across many generations?

  • Definitions key terms used in the study

  • Entrepreneurship exploring opportunities and
    mobilizing resources
  • Learning acquiring new, or modifying existing

  • Intergenerational Learning between two

  • Transgenerational Learning across many
  • As long as I can remember, I was with my
    grandparents probably just as much as I was with
    my parents. I was always with them as I was
    growing up.

  • Family Business no universally accepted

  • Familiness the unique bundle of resources and
    capabilities resulting from family involvement in
    a business which
  • may lead to competitive advantages

  • Tacit knowledge difficult to transfer to
    another person by means of writing it down or
    talking about it. Requires extensive personal
    contact, regular interaction and trust

  • Sharing Tacit Knowledge
  • One day I realized that the person I was
    complaining to was the person I was complaining

  • Situated Learning Theory Learning that takes
    place in the same context it was applied.

  • A student from Peterborough can learn accounting,
    banking or law at various universities in
    Ontario. This is cognitive learning.
  • A student from Peterborough can learn accounting,
    banking or law by working at big firms on Bay
    Street in Toronto. This is experiential learning.
  • A student from Peterborough can learn accounting,
    banking or law by working with small and medium
    sized businesses in Peterborough. This is
    situated (learning) and specific to the local

  • My dad worked six days a week and all the other
    kids dads were home at 5 oclock, supper at 5
    oclock every day and that just didnt happen in
    our household. He was gone at 730 in the morning
    and came home at 6 or 7 at night and worked
    Saturdays. If you wanted to see him I rode in the
    truck with him.

  • Can you relate to the quote from the previous
  • All family members from family businesses all
    over the world should be able to relate to a
    similar sort of experience
  • The next slide is the actual quote from the
    participant which shows the importance of

  • My dad worked six days a week and all the other
    kids in our neighbourhood, most of their dads
    worked at GE. So their dads were home at 5
    oclock, supper at 5 oclock every day and that
    just didnt happen in our household. He was gone
    at 730 in the morning and came home at 6 or 7 at
    night and worked Saturdays. If you wanted to see
    him I rode in the truck with him.

  • Legitimate Peripheral Participation Describes
    how newcomers become experienced members and
    eventually replace old timers in a business

  • Someone once told me that a PhD is essentially a
    flow chart of hundreds of boxtobox
    relationships that leads to the development of
    original theory
  • The following concepts take into account existing
    theory, and put new boundaries on prior theory
    (supported by the data)
  • The point of a PhD study is to add new knowledge
    to an existing field of study

  • Themes Recurring patterns in the data across
    most of the cases

  • Socialization at a young age
  • When the family goes to the Farmers Market at
    four oclock in the morning, you dragged the kids
    along. You didnt leave them at home. Well, what
    am I doing while Im there? Well, I can learn to
    take money.

  • Legitimate Peripheral Participation
  • Some of these little kids grow up to become
    members. On the other hand, youve got your older
    members that are dying off and thats kind of
    sad. A lot of the older ones, especially when I
    was in my twenties, my dads friends, were almost
    like my parents. Then when they started dying, oh
    God another parent.

  • Reverse Mentoring
  • Whats grown in the last five or six years, is a
    new way between what hes done in the past
    because technologys played such a huge part in
    our business. We have two projects where were
    having renderings done in Shanghai right now.

  • A Debt to the Past
  • My grandfather was the second of seven kids. So
    he was the second oldest. Back in those days, the
    hierarchy, the oldest son got the family business
    which was the farm, which was the producing, the
    farm north of here. So my grandfather, being the
    second, got the sheep pasture to the south.

  • The gunshot treaty was 1809, which the British
    signed with the Ojibwa and gave them land north
    of Lake Ontario as far as you could hear a

  • The Intergenerational Present
  • In the past 30 years of doing this, we have
    developed ways, formulas, patterns. Say you are
    going to hire someone to put new windows in a
    cottage, right? Were doing a job together and
    were hiring together to put windows in. So each
    guy has a different way of doing it and there are
    different ways of doing the same thing, right?
    But weve developed our way of doing it that we
    know works, based or our 30 years of doing it. So
    we have a book of how to do everything and
    anything. Thats our family recipe.

  • We had a 50 year reunion here at the farm, and
    we gave out awards for businesses. We gave out
    certificates for 50 years that this business had
    done business and we had 40 year ones and down to
    25. We told stories about dealing with the
    businesses. We fed 472 people in a sit down meal
    with, with china. No paper plates. Right up here
    in our shop with a tent and we had a party.
    People still talk about it.

  • Transgenerational Future
  • Starting with my grandfather, it was like, you
    could take a piece of property and split it up
    amongst the cousins and all the brothers and
    sisters, but I think that it was my grandfathers
    and my dads determination not to piece it up,
    not to sever this off and not to piece that off.
    Keep it whole and keep it for the family members
    that contribute and want to make this their
    vehicle to exist.

  • Learning From Ancestors You Have Never Met
  • Theres so much history involved. My great
    grandparents made plans that they wanted to stick
    through the years. Specifically one maple tree
    has to stay in the middle of the field. It was
    one of my great grandfathers wishes so it has to

  • Findings

  • The majority of the participants in this study
    have family members actively involved in the
    business that will never retire

  • The most successful businesses are always
    thinking about how the business was influenced by
    family members 50 years back, and also always
    thinking about how the business might look 50
    years forward

  • Family and Business is the Same Thing
  • I dont think my daughter realizes that if this
    business loses, that were losing the house and
    cottage. My boys think they can walk in, pick
    something off the shelf and take it.

  • Family and Business is the Same Thing
  • passage from thesis

  • Transgenerational learning
  • Participants in this study are surrounded by
    their past. In some cases, relations to those
    family members they have never met often have a
    significant impact on how they learn. Also, they
    often make decisions based on those family
    members that have not been born yet.

  • A Critical Approach
  • Successful family businesses that contradict
    prior theory

  • Succession Planning
  • In their early twenties, I started the process
    of moving them in. And that wasnt done
    arbitrarily. That was done in discussion with
    them saying, if youre showing an interest, here,
    I can make a couple million dollars a year so
    Ill gladly give you 400,000 each of that and we
    can all have some fun.

  • Competition
  • We have lunch together every Friday. Im big on
    getting advice from those who have been through
    it, people whove been in the business much
    longer than I have.

  • Implications For Public Policy
  • While large, public companies have been reducing
    local labour costs and capital spending (General
    Electric and PepsiCo) or have left the community
    entirely (Johnson Johnson) in recent years, it
    is the family businesses, which have family
    reasons to stay in the community, and a
    commitment to the longterm well being of their
    businesses in the community that should have a
    larger voice in influencing public policy.

  • How Can We Apply Some of These Things in Our
    Family Business?

  • Learn From Different Generations
  • I maintain various circles of friends. I keep
    an older circle of friends that used to be 20
    years older than me. Then we became friends with
    our eldest sons friends and my youngest sons
    friends. We have four circles of friends. Through
    that experience, you can slot yourself into where
    you are, where they are, and where were all
    going to be, and you can pick up things that are
    important to them, which may mean absolutely
    nothing to our older friends or things that are
    important to us which means nothing to the
    younger ones.

  • Focus on transfer of entrepreneurial mindset, not
    ownership and control
  • Hes always sort of had his ear to the ground
    trying to figure out other opportunities might be
    out there. My first experience here was just
    following him up the road just to have a look at
    it just to see if we could both see the potential
    in it. It was a cold winters day and it seemed
    kind of odd to talk about ________.

  • Write down your family recipe for doing business
  • My dad is going to write a book on the history
    of our farms so that we can understand it because
    once he passes away theres a lot of knowledge of
    past generations that goes away with him. Most
    importantly how each generation passed on their
    influences to the next generation and how they
    dealt with transitioning the farm to the next.

  • Develop accelerating streams of wealth across
    many generations
  • There are so many different sources of income
    inside our business with the Service Department,
    the Propeller Repair Shop, Boat Top and
    Upholstery, the Machine Shop, the Gas Bar, the
    Service Department

  • Rearrange the physical layout of the family
    business to increase he intensity of interaction
    between key family members
  • Wife It would have been a more mixed operation
    and it was basically for sustainability of the
    family. I think they would have produced some
    crops for selling, I guess, but ..
  • Husband basically, they were trying to feed

  • As a result of this sharing of tacit knowledge,
    entrepreneurial learning is more fluid between
    two family members in a family business due to
    the many years of common experiences

  • Succession Planning is a Much Longer Cycle
  • Achieving continuity between and across
    generations for the family business is a much
    longer cycle which needs to consider not only
    recent history but the distant past, and how the
    distant past affects the far away future
  • That is my original contribution. Thank you
    giving me this opportunity.

  • Questions?
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