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America's Most Successful Family Businesses

In: Business and Management

Submitted By avanarthos
Words 3063
Pages 13
Alex Vanarthos 11/26/2014
America's Most Successful Family Businesses Family businesses make up an incredible 34% of the S&P 500 Index, meaning over 170 of our nation's 500 largest companies are family owned (Caspar, Christian). To some, this figure is extremely surprising, as it shatters the commonly held misconception that family firms are simply "mom and pop shops." Although it is clear that family businesses are capable of incredible widespread success, exactly why this is the case is far less obvious. One way to gain some valuable insight into how and why so many effective family businesses exist is to closely examine the three in our nation that have had the most success: Cargill, Ford Motors, and Wal-Mart. In many ways, these businesses could not be more different; for instance, they operate in separate industries, and the levels and types of family involvement in the firms vary. Extensive analysis of these three corporations did, however, reveal that while no family, business, or family business is perfect, each company's achievements are directly attributable to its commitment to the common vision and identity instilled in the firm by the family.
Cargill is a private corporation that works with "farmers, customers, governments and communities" to provide "food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world ("Cargill: Provider of Food…"). Believe it or not, Cargill is as broad of a company as it makes itself sound. Founded in 1865 as a grain storage facility, the company no longer specializes in delivering any one specific product or service. Instead, through elements such as massive economies of scale and efficient and far-reaching distribution networks, this family firm is able to provide high...

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