; Enterprising Rural Families - Risks in the Family Business | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Enterprising Rural Families - Risks in the Family Business

John P. Hewlett


Families engaged in business together face unique types of risk. The interface between individual, family, and business is significantly different from that of traditional employee and employer or individual business owner/manager. The necessary tension created by this interface can be used to help members of the family/business to examine their communication styles, management techniques, and work roles. However, this same tension often becomes a focus for acrimonious relationships and poor business performance, sometimes resulting in business failure and family break-up.

“Enterprising Rural Families – Risks in the Family Business” presents information about an international on-line course for members of, and those working with, rural family businesses. The course uses a unique model depicting the relation and interaction of individual, family, and business, all placed within the context of a larger community. This model of interaction lies within a larger construct of integrated management, looking at the entire operation holistically on the three levels of strategic, tactical, and operational planning.

The course seeks to carry the participant through three levels of investigation and awareness by leading them to answer the questions: 1) Where are you? 2) Where do you want to go? 3) How will you get there? This is accomplished via a variety of interactive methods with the student: Steaming video, readings, slide presentations, library research materials, live chat sessions, threaded discussions, various hand-in assignments, and a major final project concerning their own business in an area of their choice.