Outsider by Birth: Leading in a Family Firm

  • Felicity Kelliher
  • Chris O’Riordan
  • Patrick C. Flood
  • Malcolm Higgs


This chapter considers non-family leadership in a family firm. This complex role is reflected upon by Anthony Dinan, former MD of Thomas Crosbie Holdings, at one time the largest family-owned Print and Media Corporation in Ireland. Anthony reflects on being the first outsider MD in a five-generation family firm and the challenges and opportunities affiliate to this role. He goes on to discuss negotiating with owners and employees in this role and considers the outsider-insider dynamic affiliated to leading a large-scale acquisition strategy in this environment. The impact of the global downturn of 2008–2009 is relevant in this chapter, as are the familial dynamics following this external shock. The chapter concludes with Anthony’s reflections on an outsider leader career within a large-scale family firm.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicity Kelliher
    • 1
  • Chris O’Riordan
    • 1
  • Patrick C. Flood
    • 2
  • Malcolm Higgs
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BusinessWaterford Institute of TechnologyWaterfordIreland
  2. 2.DCU Business SchoolDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  3. 3.Hull University Business SchoolUniversity of HullHullUK

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