Response of family businesses to a natural disaster : a case study approach Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9c67wq94r

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  • Throughout the world, weather-related and other natural phenomena claim thousands of lives and devour billions of dollars annually in recovery efforts. Destruction of life and property in the wake of disasters is devastating, and can have a dramatic impact on families and businesses around the globe. Yet, published works specifically in the field of Family Resource Management (FRM) reveal a limited understanding of how families respond when these critical events strike with little or no warning, particularly for business-owning families. This paper explores family business responses to a particular natural disaster through case study research from the FRM perspective. Essentially, its purpose is to ascertain whether the FRM description of management is useful for family business systems in the wake of a natural disaster. A review of the FRM and family business literature is offered, followed by a broad description of qualitative methods and a justification for the case study methodology for this project. In-depth information about the successful management of a natural disaster was gathered through face-to-face and phone interviews with five leaders of family-owned businesses. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed, followed by member checks and peer reviews to strengthen the trustworthiness of the findings. Based on the experiences of the five CEOs that participated in this study, it appears that the FRM conceptualization of management generally captured their experience and can perhaps be a useful tool in conceptualizing the preparation for, and recovery from, critical events. It was also found, as anticipated, that access to tangible resources (money, materials, equipment) and intangible resources (communication processes, family unity, adaptability, relationships) was a key to successful management. What was somewhat surprising, however, was the emphasis placed on the power of relationships in the management process. A discussion on how this study relates to previous work on family stress and coping models is offered, and implications for researchers, practitioners, and government agencies that interface with families in business are provided.
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