© 2013

Managing Conflict in the Family Business

Understanding Challenges at the Intersection of Family and Business

  • Authors

Part of the Family Business Leadership Series book series (AFBP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Kent Rhodes, David Lansky
    Pages 7-20
  3. Kent Rhodes, David Lansky
    Pages 21-49
  4. Kent Rhodes, David Lansky
    Pages 51-77
  5. Kent Rhodes, David Lansky
    Pages 79-99
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 101-107

About this book


Family Business Conflict Archetypes, Frames, Roles, and Tactics are discussed in this book with a view toward educating readers to the common conflict cycles that family businesses encounter. More specifically the book will address twelve conflicts that are common in family owned businesses, how to spot them and how to resolve them.


business conflict conflicts family business meeting

About the authors

DR. Kent Rhodes is core faculty at the Pepperdine University, USA Doctoral Programs in Organization Leadership and Organizational Change, the Master of Science in Organization Development program, and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, the world's number one ranked program in Conflict Management. He served as an ombudsman for the University for more than 15 years. Rhodes founded and served as chief executive officer of OnCourse Network, Inc., an Internet Education Company. He also is an entrepreneur who maintains a successful coaching and consulting practice for a variety of privately held businesses, family owned enterprises and non-profit organizations. As an associate with the Family Business Consulting Group, he brings first hand experience, equipping executives and management teams with leadership skills that build value and personal capacity for success.
David Lansky, Ph.D., a principal consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. has played a key role in the growth and transformation of many enterprising families, and in the business interests which they share. A clinical psychologist and family therapist by training, David spent over 15 years as a managing partner in a clinical psychology practice. A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, David obtained his Master's and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. He has served as clinical faculty member and supervisor at Northwestern University's Family Institute and taught marital and family therapy at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Materials & Steel
Finance, Business & Banking


"Kent Rhodes and David Lansky show a deep understanding of what it's like to be involved in family business. They present the problem of conflict as normal and understandable and the process they propose for handling conflicts will help you manage continuing problems better and provide hope for solving problems you may have thought were unsolvable. Reading this book and implementing this process will be a blessing to both your family and your business." - Steve Stewart, CEO, Stewart Brothers Drilling Company

"This book is a valuable resource to combat conflict in the family business forum. The steps of conflict resolution, reconciliation, and prevention of conflict provided by Rhodes and Lansky are essential to a successful family business. They provide concrete tools and guidelines to manage and prevent conflict in a family business. Even more importantly, the concepts in this book will help the family involved in the business to flourish. This material is well worth the time for leaders of family businesses!" - Peter Robinson, Managing Director, Professor of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law

"I loved Managing Conflict in the Family Business! It is easy to read and understand how to apply the lessons of communication. I want everyone in our family to read this book in the hopes of having less combative conflict in the future." - Kathy Douglass, CEO, The Greensheet

"I am always looking for new insights to bring a fresh perspective to our current transition effort. This book has done a marvelous job of identifying and providing guidance to overcome some of the greatest hurdles we face in our challenges as family business leaders. I only wish we had had this book a generation ago. Anyone dealing in the field of family business will find valuable guidance in it." - Dave Juday, Chairman of the Board, IDEAL Industries, Inc.

"This book is a concise manual listing the common conflict issues in family businesses. The exhibits provide specific checkpoints and step to illuminate and address these common family business conflicts." - Fred R. Sasser, CEO, Sasser Family Holdings, Inc.