Megan Walsh

Publication Date

Spring 2014


Since family owned enterprises are a driving force in the present day economy and yet they fail to withstand succession from first generation ownership at an alarmingly high rate, this study seeks to understand the factors that contribute to a family owned company’s ability to withstand succession. Since family businesses differ most from traditional organizations in terms of their value orientations, this research sought to answer which value orientation this family owned business incorporates into its business model, as well as how management within a family business communicates their desired value system to their employees and how much emphasis is put on said value system. The participants involved in this study came from a family owned organization that is successfully thriving in its second generation of ownership. Through the qualitative research methods of interviewing and observing the participants, it was made evident that the value system upheld by this family owned organization is a marriage between moral and competence value orientations, that the importance of this value system is very heavily stressed to their employees and that the value system is communicated through their building’s structure and physical use of space, their use of verbal and nonverbal communication, and their use of promoting organizational pride.

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Document Type

Student Project

Included in

Communication Commons