Family Business Consultant
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Family business consulting is a psychology designed to facilitate development of an informed appreciation of what is involved and what it will take for an individual to work as a consultant for family owned and controlled enterprises. The primary role of a family business consultant is to help families overcome the barriers created by the differing and often conflicting goals found in business and family systems. The family business consultant utilizes the following psychological methodology:
- A multidisciplinary approach
- Cross-professional dialog
- Diagnose existing problems
- Devise solutions that provide the highest level of benefits for the family and the business
The Success of the Business Consultant
The success of the family business consultant is dependent on his or her personal characteristics and the characteristics and dynamics of the clients. Aside from having a strong knowledge of concepts and practices related to the field of family psychology and counseling, the family business consultant must have a firm knowledge of business practices and be willing to utilize experts from other disciplines when needed.
What Family Business Means
The history of family structure has changed over time with the incorporation of economic factors such as industrialization, technological change, urbanization and business cycles. Until recently, institutional influences and external social developments have denoted changes in family structure. However, sociologists have begun to study trends in economic determinants that influence family and the roles within a family.
Industrialization brought about a new concept to family life in end of the 1800's. Families moved into urban areas where jobs in factories were available. Instead of each family member contributing to the economic yield, as was done in rural areas on farmland, the factory provided the concentration of the male member as the sole provider. Definitive roles were established between worker and housewife and the collective efforts of provision were dissolved into economically less definitive roles. Priorities of having children for labor reasons were dissolved and fertility rates declined in industrialized countries.
The opening up of the marketplace in the early 20th Century created a doorway for the exploitation of an expanded consumer base. This put labor in demand and just as the family was settling into the new roles of urbanization, World War I began and sent the labor force over seas. The second great change occurred in the family structure when women went to work to fill the job opens left by the men in the war. From that point on, women stayed in the work for in greater numbers than ever before and the family structure was changed.
Wide acceptance of the two-income family did not come until the technological revolution that once again displaced the former "breadwinner" of the family into equality with the female, traditional housewife. Labor was no longer strength or masculine intensive but intellectually orientated placing men and women on an even playing field of skills. The economy during the technological revolution required women to work, as families found that one income did not serve the standard of living that they had become use to in the later booming industrial revolution of the 1950's.
In the past 35 years, the economy in America has gone global and offered markets in third world countries. Traditional trade has been completely disbanded with the focus on international corporations and big business. The working family on the farm is a relic of the past with agriculture itself being a victim of massive incorporation. Today's modern family must adhere to the growing demands of a global market that is dependent on two incomes to fuel the economy and feed the family.