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Family and Its Small Businesses: Was It all Worth It? (A)

Cas 9 40 2015 028
Langues : 
  • Anglais
Mots clés: 
  • Family firm,
  • Couples in business,
  • Small business
Année de production : 
Date de publication : 
Notes pédagogiques incluses : 

Many family business cases are about larger companies in significant businesses. However, most family firms, including those in North America, are small and are almost entirely comprised of family members just trying to make a living. The above case, with only a few elements disguised, is of two very small businesses, one a snack bar, the other a pastry shop, owned and operated – in sequence – by a married couple struggling to get by. Despite the microcosm aspects of the example, it illustrates many of the human and commercial issues that sustain and limit these enterprises.

Discipline principal : 
Management  - Entrepreneurship
Discipline secondaire : 
Non disponible
Secteurs d'activité : 
  • Biens de consommation
Provenance : 
HEC Montréal
Type : 
Cas très court (Cas descriptif)
Type de données pour la production du cas : 
Données inspirées du réel, mais considérablement transformées
Lieu de l'événement : 
Montréal, QC, Canada
Année de début de l'événement : 
Année de fin de l'événement : 
Non disponible
Taille de l'entreprise : 
Principaux thèmes couverts
  • Family firms
  • Small business
  • Couples in business
Objectifs pédagogiques

The objectives are to provide insights into the motivations and consequences of small “mom and pop shops” of necessity entrepreneurs. The motivations reflect family goals of providing an income for lower-middle class families with few monetary or knowledge-based resources but a strong work ethic. The case also illustrates some of the social conventions and personality factors that can prevent a business from prospering and providing upward social mobility for its owners.

Concepts et théories en lien avec le cas

The case may be linked to concepts of necessity entrepreneurship and socio-emotional wealth as well as the family dynamics literature. Resource- and knowledge-based views may also be applied.