SUCCESS AND SURVIVAL IN THE FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS by Pat Alcorn

SUCCESS AND SURVIVAL IN THE FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Partly a manual, partly a study, but mostly a kind of pep-rally for the family-owned business--and even then a muddle. We're first led to think of the family-owned business as small business; in that connection we're told that its chief enemy is not big business but big government. (All those regulations--to protect consumers or the environment, to equalize employment opportunities--should be weighed for their effect on small business.) Later, the family-owned business is equated with privately-owned business; in that connection, we're presented with pop mini-histories of the Fords, the Rockefellers, and such--plus a tour of the family-owned establishments, large and small, in ""Middle City."" The last of Alcorn's ostensible ""Middle City"" informants is a black lumberyard owner who's given to say--per the headline--that his grandson may grow up to be ""the first black President of the United States."" Alcorn also draws lots of examples from movies. Re entrepreneurs as pioneers: ""Gregory Peck, we are told in How the West Was Won, made several fortunes and lost them all; but in the process San Francisco had come into being and Arizona was being settled."" (Scarlett O'Hara exemplifies the self-made female.) Only in the sections on conducting a family-owned business--and especially on arranging the succession from father to son (""Let the Son Shine In"")--does Alcorn have anything to put forth (however cloddishly) that's concrete, pertinent, and at least half-way sensible. Otherwise most of this is inane.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1981
Publisher: McGraw-Hill