Release | The tetralemma of the business family

Kleve H., Roth S., Köllner T., and Wetzel R. (in press), The tetralemma of the business family. A systemic approach to business-family dilemmas in research and practice, Journal of Organizational Change Management [SSCI 1.185, Scopus, CNRS**, FNEGE**, CABS**].

The ahead-of-print version of this article is available for download here.

Abstract: This conceptual article aims to contribute to the design of a theory of family-influenced firms by a framework for the management of business-family dilemmas. It combines systemic principles with the tetralemma, a tool from ancient Indian logic that families and businesses can use to manage and reframe dilemmas without dissolving the dilemmatic tensions or blurring their boundaries. In applying the tetralemma, the article offers a range of suggestions, such as observing business and family as two discrete, yet codependent, social systems and envisioning conceptual and methodological imports from codependency research and therapy into family business research and practice. The article proposes a framework for the selective and flexible navigation of family- business tensions without dissolving them or blurring their boundaries.

Keywords: Business family, Family business, Dilemmas, Tetralemma, Niklas Luhmann, Systems theory.

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