Although the term “family business” often suggests a small to mid-sized company, family-controlled enterprises play a powerful role in the world economy.
This is a point made by Nicolas Kachaner, George Stalk and Alain Bloch, writing for Harvard Business Review. They observe that the unique ownership structure of family businesses provides a long-term orientation often lacking in traditional public companies.
Their research also shows that, although family-run companies don’t earn as much money as other businesses in good economic times, family firms far outshine their peers during economic slumps. And looking across the business cycles from 1997 to 2009, they found that in every country they examined, long-term financial performance was higher on average for family businesses than non-family firms.