Conflict Management in the Family Business: A Case Study From Turkey

Conflict Management in the Family Business: A Case Study From Turkey

Meral Erdirençelebi, Ebru Ertürk
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2269-1.ch019
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Conflicts in family businesses can have devastating effects if they cannot be turned into functional conflicts and managed effectively. Institutionalization is the most effective solution in this process. Managing conflicts in family businesses where business and family relationships are bound by certain rules to get easier. However, conflicts can be managed effectively with methods such as; producing solutions before a conflict arises, effective communication between family members and non-family member employees before and during the conflict, separation of work and family from each other, prevention of nepotism, successful and effective planning, fair and performance-based reward system, determining the roles precisely and bringing them to a written form, receiving support from experienced non-family member employees, and bringing professional managers to work. This chapter addresses the Sabansi Holding case study, a well-known and influential business family in Turkey.
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Conflicts In Organizations And Their Types

Conflict is the foremost of the most important topics that are being studied in many disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, and primarily in management science. Therefore, there is no single definition of conflict in the literature (Topaloglu, 2011, p. 251). In terms of management science, conflict can be defined as “disagreement arising from various sources between two or more people or groups” (Kocel, 2010, p. 646). According to Wall and Callester (1995, p. 517), “it is a process that occurs when a person or group understand that their interests are hindered or adversely affected by their opponent.” In other words, conflicts occur in organizations when individuals cannot choose between alternatives in case of any decision-making or when individuals prefer different options (Akat, Budak, & Budak, 1999, p. 330). In broader terms, conflict is a “disagreement between two or more organization members or groups due to the necessity of working in jobs with functional dependence and/or having different statuses, aims, values ​​or perceptions” (Kilic, 2001, p. 87). Esquivel and Kleiner (1996), on the other hand, describe the conflict as “a disagreement or dispute over interest or idea.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

Founder Entrepreneur: Founder family member who founded the business in family businesses, owner of the business.

Nepotism: Employment of individuals in favor of nepotism, regardless of merit, based on kinship.

Functional Conflict: A type of conflict that enhances performance that contributes to organizational objectives.

Conflict Management: Managing the process in order to reconcile existing conflicts and turn negative conflicts into functional conflicts.

Professional Manager: A person who has a managerial talent and has acquired a profession by training in this job, who is a salaried employee, assumes the management responsibility of the enterprise at the risk of profit and loss for someone else and tries to achieve organizational objectives.

Family Businesses: Businesses on which the family values ??of individuals from the same family have an impact, and all or most of the ownership and management are in the family members.

Institutionalization: The unification of the enterprise around the corporate culture shared by everyone and having common rules, principles, and standards and having a corporate identity that distinguishes it from other enterprises.

Generation Conflict: Conflict between adult and young generation.

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