Family and Business Vision: Exploring Family Commitment

  • Randel S. Carlock
  • John L. Ward
Part of the A Family Business Publication book series (AFBP)


“We will build stores in small, rural towns-skipping the major cities-and overtake Sears within 30 years.” When Sam Walton uttered these words to a small group of trusted employees, few people outside of Arkansas believed that Walmart had much of a chance of displacing Sears as the world’s largest retailer. But what others thought didn’t matter because Sam was concerned about encouraging his employees and family to believe in something bigger than a handful of stores. He knew his innovative strategy of building big stores in small towns would capture market share if his team believed in it. His vision became the criterion for measuring all of their decisions: does this action support us in becoming the largest retailer in the world?


Vision Statement Family Business Shared Vision Family Ownership Family Commitment 
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  1. 1.
    Collins, J. C. and Porras, J. L. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (New York: HarperBusiness, 1994).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Carlock, R. S. Eu Yan Sang: Healing a Family and Business (INSEAD case study, 2006).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Randel S. Carlock and John L. Ward 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randel S. Carlock
    • 1
  • John L. Ward
    • 2
  1. 1.Wendel International Centre for Family EnterpriseINSEADFrance
  2. 2.Center for Family Enterprises, Kellogg School of ManagementNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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