The article examines the contributions family-owned businesses make to the community.
Appropriate Subject Area(s):
Key Questions to Explore:
- Why do family owned businesses outperform large publicly traded corporations?
Meritocracy, share-price return, benchmark, tenure
Copies of the article
Introduction to lesson and task:
This lesson explores the phenomenon of family-owned businesses, especially large ones that have been in existence for many generations.
Action (lesson plan and task):
- Have students download a polling app onto their phone: Kahoot is a free one available for all mobile devices.
- Using the polling software, set up the following questions to ask students:
- Do you know any family owned businesses? Yes or No
- What percentage of the World’s companies are family owned — 30%, 50%, 70% or 90%? (ans. 90%)
- In North America, how many family owned businesses have revenues of over one billion dollars — 10%, 33%, 57% or 84% (ans. 33%)
- Discuss the polling results with the class.
- Ask the class what is meant by a family-owned business.
- Before distributing the article for reading, have students work in small groups to discuss the contributions family-owned businesses make to the community.
- Distribute the article for reading.
- The article states that, as a group, family owned businesses deliver superior returns. Use flip chart paper and have students answer:
- What does this statement mean? What is the impact of this on the employees? The customers? The family? The community?
Consolidation of Learning:
- Family-owned businesses are said to be successful because they are focused on the long term. What does this mean? Why does this focus contribute to their success?
- Students understand the long term view taken by family-owned businesses and why this is a competitive advantage.
- In pairs, have students contact a family-owned business in their community and interview them, focusing on the long term and where they see their business in the next generation. Have each pair write a case study about this family-owned business. In another class, have students swap their case studies and ask questions of each other to learn more.