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Real Life Conflicts in Family Business: The Experiences of Emerging Organizational Consultants
Keywords: real life conflicts, family business, organizational consulting, third party intervention, qualitative study, reflective practice
Abstract: This paper sheds light on real life conflict phenomenon in family business, focusing on experiences of emerging organizational consultants. It sheds light on their construal of the intervention dynamics, capturing the nature of relationships formed between the family business and the consultants, the construal of the consultant's role and their intervention strategies. The article stems from the practicum experiences of three former graduate students in Organizational Development and Consulting MA program. The study employed a qualitative interpretivist orientation, aiming to explicate social processes and construe social phenomenon through empirical data. The findings show that consulting in FB inevitably involves encounters with real life intergenerational conflicts, especially affective discords and power struggles. The consultants' intervention strategies tend to mirror the avoidance tendencies of the organizational members. Reflection upon practice fosters contingent use of intervention strategies and indirect efforts to bridge the concerns of the two generations.