Siblings and Succession in the Family Business (HBR Case Study)
For teaching purposes, this is the case-only version of the HBR case study. The commentary-only version is reprint 98108Z. The complete case study and commentary is reprint 98108. How do family businesses handle succession? What happens when siblings compete for the position of CEO? Can nonfamily board members navigate successfully through conflicts among family members? Should they even try? This fictitious case study examines a host of issues with which family businesses regularly grapple. It describes the situation that faces the board of directors of Benson Electric, a rapidly growing family enterprise, upon the unexpected death of CEO and patriarch Buck Benson. Benson, the son of the company's founder, left no succession plan. Caught in the middle of an emotionally torn and feuding family, the directors must determine how to proceed. How can they manage the succession process without alienating family members and worrying employees and customers? In 98108 and 98108Z, four commentators--Joseph A. Wolking, Kent Noble, Kelin Gersick, and Victor Ney--advise the directors on their best course of action.