Tensions within family business-owning couples over time

Sharon M. Danes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The present study examined tensions generated by business issues for 187 family business-owning wives and husbands over a period of time. Family and business goal ranking identified the first priority goal of business owners (husbands) as positive reputation with customers and of wives (household managers) as good family relationships. The tension questions reflect the five conflict content areas of justice, role clarity, work/family balance, identity, and succession. Work/family and justice conflicts were the highest tension producers for both spouses in each time period. About 20% of wives and husbands reported higher work/family conflict in 2000 over 1997. Five out of seven business tensions statistically reduced from 1997 to 2000 for wives; three out of seven statistically reduced for husbands. Family FIRO model is proposed as an assessment and problem-solving model for working with family businesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-246
Number of pages20
JournalStress, Trauma and Crisis
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Business-owning couples
  • Conflict
  • Family FIRO
  • Family businesses
  • Family conflict

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