According to a study by HEC-ULg commissioned by the IEF (Institute for Family Businesses), only 38% of family businesses have hired a manager from outside the family circle. More than half of the remaining 62% have no intention of hiring an external manager, according to articles in L’Echo, Le Soir and La Libre Belgique on Wednesday. The reasons family businesses (FB) give to explain their reluctance to hire from outside the family circle are – in decreasing order of importance – the structure being too small, the desire to retain power, there being a family member available to fill the position, a fear the company’s routine will be disrupted and, finally, the fear that such a move would create tension within the business.
Yet 92% of FBs which have taken the plunge and hired from outside the family circle notice an improvement in performance and more professional management of the organisation (78%). Only a minority of the people polled (2.41%) mentioned tension among staff and even fewer (2%) indicated tension between family members.